MOSCOW: A Russian passenger plane made an emergency landing in a cornfield near the capital Moscow shortly after take-off on Thursday after birds were sucked into both its engines, the airline and air transport agency said.
The Ural Airlines` Airbus 321, with 233 people on board, struck a flock of gulls after take-off, disrupting its engines and forcing the pilots to land in the field about one km from Zhukovsky International Airport, south-east of Moscow, the agency Rosaviatsia said.
The plane was evacuated and four people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, the agency said. Earlier media reports had said 234 people were on board.
"There was an emergency landing in Zhukovsky. Birds got into both engines. Engines turned off, the crew carried out the landing," Ural Airlines general director, Sergei Skuratov, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
Safety concerns have plagued Russia`s airline industry, which has experienced many fatal crashes in recent years.