Eighty-one people on board a Russian passenger jet are thanking their lucky stars after the plane suffered multiple systems failures 10,600 metres up near the arctic circle.
Three and a half hours into the flight from Siberia to Moscow, the ancient Tupelov 154 lost engine power, electrical power, radio and navigation equipment.
After descending to 3,000 metres over the town of Izhma the pilot spotted a defunct military airstrip, which is half the length needed for a jet of that size.
“We took off and everything was normal,” said one passenger, “but after three hours, we hit turbulence and we were told to prepare for an emergency landing.”
“We didn’t have any time to be frightened,” said another. “But later, when we get off the plane, we got scared. We were in the middle of the forest.”
The jet had overshot the runway and came to a standstill among the trees. Everyone escaped without serious injury.
All were flown on to Moscow except for one couple, who preferred to take the train.