Aeroflot aircraft burst into flames after making an emergency landing at Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 41 people [Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters]

The pilot of a Russian passenger plane said on Monday lightning forced him into making an emergency landing that caused the aircraft to erupt in a ball of fire on the runway of Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 41 people.

Investigators were attempting to understand the cause of the blaze, which saw the Sukhoi Superjet-100 skid at high speed on the tarmac at Sheremetyevo airport as flames poured from its fuselage on Sunday.

Pilot Denis Yevdokimov told Russian media the airliner lost communication and needed to switch to emergency control mode and return to the airport “because of lightning” during the Aeroflot flight, which was headed for the

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