Passengers aboard a Russian charter plane feared for their lives after a rear door of their ageing aircraft sprang open mid-flight and sucked out their luggage into the void. According to New York Post, the incident took place on Monday on an An-26 twin prop plane belonging to IrAero. The aircraft had taken off in minus 41 degrees cold from the remote Siberian city of Magan en route to Magadan on Russia's Pacific coast.
The Post reported that the door of the plane, which was carrying around 25 people including six crew members, flew off during take-off. A dramatic video shared by one of the passengers showed the visible gaping rear door on the plane. It also showed the passenger sitting calmly in his seat and grinning, as a curtain by the open door flapped wildly behind him.
Watch the video below:
Fortunately, none of the people onboard was hurt, and all were protected from the freezing temperatures outside by their coats. According to New Zealand Herald, once the cabin was re-pressurised, the plane circled back and successfully landed again in the Siberian city of Magan.
Carrier IrAero said that the partial opening of the charter flight door occurred at an altitude of 2800-2900 metres. As per NZ Herald, the aircraft involved was a 43-year-old Antonov 26, RA-26174, which had been operating since August 1979 in Soviet-era Siberia.
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Meanwhile, the video of the horrifying ordeal has been shared on several social media platforms. Anton Gerashchenko, who is an advisor to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, also shared the video and compared boarding a plane in Russia to playing Russian Roulette.
"A hatch of the Russian AN-26-100 plane flying to Magadan opened right in the sky. 25 people were on board. The pilots began landing right away. A new name of Russian roulette - "Russian plane"?" Mr Gerashchenko wrote.
Russian officials have stated that they are looking into the cause of the shocking incident.