Hero flight attendant died trying to save passengers from burning Aeroflot jet

A heroic Aeroflot employee perished while helping passengers off a jet that burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport Sunday evening.

Maksim Moiseev, a 22-year-old flight attendant aboard doomed Flight SU-1492, died while trying to open a door in the fire-ravaged tail of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger plane (SSJ100) in order to allow more passengers to escape, Russian news agency TASS reports. 

"He was trying to open the rear exit door to quickly evacuate the passengers from the tail that was ablaze," a source told the outlet. "He didn’t succeed and started helping people to leave the plane."

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At least 40 dead in Russian plane's fiery emergency landing
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At least 40 dead in Russian plane's fiery emergency landing
Ребят, со мной все хорошо, жив и цел. Успел выскочить. Это рейс Москва-Мурманск 17.50. Остальное смотрите в новостях. Огромные соболезнования семьям погибших. Upd - моя фамилия в списке раненых фейк. Либо ошибка. Я здоров. Спасибо вам всем за тёплые слова и за поддержку
This image taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Sunday, May 5, 2019, shows the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines on fire, at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia. At least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, officials said early Monday. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)
This image taken from video provided by Instagram user @artempetrovich, shows the SSJ-100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines on fire during an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (@artempetrovich via AP)
The Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot airlines is covered in fire retardant foam after an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. Scores of people died when the Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making the emergency landing at the airport Sunday evening, officials said. (Moscow News Agency photo via AP)
Un avión Sukhoi Superjet 100 de Aeroflot Airlines aparece cubierto de retardante de incendios tras un aterrizaje de emergencia en el aeropuerto de Sheremetyevo en Moscú, Rusia, el domingo 5 de mayo de 2019. (Moscow News Agency foto via AP)
The Sukhoi SSJ-100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines, center, is seen after an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. The plane belonging to Russian national carrier Aeroflot landed in flames at the airport. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
An emergency service cars are parked at the entrance of Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot says the plane that caught fire at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, killing at least one person, had been forced to turn back after taking off for the city of Murmansk because of technical reasons. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this image taken from video, provided by the RU-RTR Russian television on Monday, May 6, 2019, Russian emergency situations medics carry a injured passenger of the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines to an helicopter ambulance in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia. At least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, officials said early Monday. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
This photo taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Monday, May 6, 2019, the wreckage of Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines is seen in Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia. At least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, officials said early Monday. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP, File)
This photo taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Monday, May 6, 2019, shows employees of the Russian Investigative Committee working at the wreckage of the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia. Russia's main investigative body says both flight recorders have been recovered from the plane that caught fire while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, killing at least 40 people. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)
This image taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Monday, May 6, 2019, shows an engine of the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia. Russia's main investigative body says both flight recorders have been recovered from the plane that caught fire while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, killing at least 40 people. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)
This image taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee on Monday, May 6, 2019, shows employees of the Russian Emergency Situations work at the wreckage of Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow. A Russian airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport Sunday evening, and at least 40 people died, officials said. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)
A relative of victims reacts as she leaves a place where others are gathered at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. At least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, officials said early Monday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Relatives and friends of victims react as they leave a place where others are gathered at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. At least 40 people died when an Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, officials said early Monday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
People wait at Sheremetyevo International Airport in an area where others are gathered for news about passengers aboard an Aeroflot airliner that burst into flames while making an emergency landing at the airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A woman speaks on the phone at the airport in an area where others are gathered for news about passengers aboard an Aeroflot airliner that burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
The Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines, center in the background, is seen after an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. Scores of people died when the Aeroflot airliner burst into flames while making the emergency landing at the airport Sunday evening, officials said. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People gather around the damaged Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. Russia's main investigative body says both flight recorders have been recovered from the plane that caught fire while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, killing at least 40 people on Sunday. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
The Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines, after making an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. Russia's main investigative body says both flight recorders have been recovered from the plane that caught fire while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, killing at least 40 people. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Tributes are placed next to the sign of the last flight of the Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines, after it made an emergency landing in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. A Russian airliner burst into flames while making an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport Sunday evening, and at least 40 people died, officials said. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
A crane lifts the damaged Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. Russian emergency workers have recovered 41 bodies and two flight recorders from the wreckage of the plane that caught fire during an emergency landing in Moscow, officials said Monday as they sought to discover the cause of the disaster. (AP Photo)
A crane lifts the damaged Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines in Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 6, 2019. Russian emergency workers have recovered 41 bodies and two flight recorders from the wreckage of the plane that caught fire during an emergency landing in Moscow, officials said Monday as they sought to discover the cause of the disaster. (AP Photo)
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At least 41 people died in Sunday's wreck out of the 73 who were on board, according to officials. Out of the 37 survivors, four were crew members, TASS reports. 

Most of those who died are believed to have been killed by smoke inhalation.

The airport said in a statement that the SSJ100, which was traveling to the northern city of Murmansk, was forced to turn back and make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from Sheremetyevo due to unspecified technical reasons.

The plane made a hard landing and bounced a few times on the tarmac, causing severe damage to the undercarriage that damaged the fuel tank and set it on fire, according to reports.

After the blazing plane came to a full stop on the ground, an inflatable evacuation slide was deployed allowing some of the passengers to jump to safety. Clips shared on social media show panicked survivors running away from the flaming wreckage.

Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the incident focusing on three possible reasons for the fiery crash: pilot error, equipment failure and adverse weather.

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