Russian investigators say plane crash death toll rises to 41

"According to updated information, 37 out of them survived".

Russian Federation will not ground its Sukhoi Superjet 100 planes, despite fears equipment failure may have caused one to crash and catch fire on Sunday.

Television footage showed the Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash landing at the Sheremetyevo airport before the rear part of the plane burst into flames.

Video on social media showed the plane crash-landing and people leaping onto an inflatable slide at the front and then running from the blazing jet as columns of black smoke billowed into the sky.

The vision shared on Twitter, shows passengers fleeing for their lives as flames can be seen engulfing the plane through the windows.

Aside from the dead, nine people were in hospital, three seriously injured, authorities said. Two of them were reportedly in serious condition.

Passengers were evacuated within 55 seconds of the plane coming to a standstill, the BBC reported. Airport officials told the news agency that the airport was operating "in a limited mode with one runway".

A second video suggests that the plane may not have caught fire until the rough landing seemingly caused the main landing gear to collapse. The place was forced to return and make a hard landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

One passenger who survived the crash, Petr Egorov, was quoted by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily newspaper as saying that the flight "had just taken off and the aircraft was hit by lightning", adding: "The landing was rough - I nearly passed out from fear". "The landing was rough, I nearly passed out from fear". "Through the twisted metal, rescue workers are trying to get to the last rows of seats, where there may be additional victims", a source told the Interfax news agency.

But Tass reported that the fire began during the emergency landing.

TASS news agency, citing a source, said at least one person was killed.

At least 33 passengers are believed to have escaped alive from the wreckage after the Aeroflot flight SU 1492 hit the runway at Moscow's Sheremetyevo. Previous reports had said the fire broke out in mid-air. It announced that it would fly relatives those affected to Moscow without charge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences and said the investigation into the disaster "should be as thorough as possible".

Several flights have been diverted to other Moscow airports or Nizhny Novgorod, some 500 kilometres east of the Russian capital.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a relatively new aircraft, having only entered service in mid-2011, and over 100 of the model are in operation around the world, according to the company.

The plane is less than two years old.

Both flight recorders have been recovered.


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