NEW YORK (VINnews) — A Russian plane travelling from Yekaterinburg to the southern city of Krasnodar was forced to make an emergency landing after being buffeted by severe turbulence as well as being hit by lightning. A short video captured the terrifying experience of the 175 passengers aboard the Boeing 737-800 as it went into free-fall while approaching the Black Sea resort of Sochi, according to a Daily Mail report.
‘It was a wild horror,’ said one passenger, while another said they were saying goodbye to life convinced they would crash.
‘Bottles and other small items scattered throughout the cabin,’ said the passenger.
‘Then lightning hit us. There was a loud bang and a bright flash.’
Despite all these mishaps, the pilots somehow managed to regain control and make an emergency landing.
One tourist, Anna, told E1: ‘Everyone was shocked. A woman next to me was crossing herself. ‘I remembered all the prayers I knew. When the lightning struck, I turned around. A man sitting near had such fear in his eyes – I will remember for the rest of my life.’
The following clip claims to capture the plane as it is being hit by lightning:
Авиарейс Екатеринбург – Сочи.Авиакомпания Azur Air.
Решение о посадке принимает командир экипажа. Я сам летаю около 20 раз в год,уже даже узнаю по взлёту кто за штурвалом,гражданский пилот или бывший военный лётчик. pic.twitter.com/rtQ8dsf7H9
— Нахалёнок.PRO (@GondurasproPro) September 27, 2021
A Russian Azur Air plane flying from Yekaterinburg to Sochi was struck by lightning and made an emergency landing in Krasnodar. https://t.co/Deelz48P9v
— X Soviet (@XSovietNews) September 28, 2021
A woman called Anastasia said: ‘We flew through huge grey clouds, and suddenly lightning struck – the flash was clearly visible and we heard a loud bang.
‘People got scared, some thought the engine was hit.’
Minutes earlier there was a terrifying plunge as the plane descended hundreds of feet in seconds due to severe turbulence amid the storm.
‘Those not strapped in jumped in their places, bottles of water and glasses flew all over the plane,’ Anastasia continued.
‘There were screams, crying children. Awful feeling.’
She said the plane ‘plunged and shook’.
‘Then everybody began to say goodbye to life and panic.
‘The pilots began to climb abruptly, and for about forty minutes we still flew.’
Following this the aircraft – on a three-and-a-half hour flight from Yekaterinburg – made an emergency landing at Krasnodar, 180 miles north of Sochi where the storm had hit.
Another passenger described the event, stating that ‘After the lightning strike, it became very quiet, just total silence. People became very quiet. I don’t even know if some had already resigned themselves to death. Everyone continued to hold on.’
She remembers the pilot saying ‘Don’t panic, fasten your seat belts’ – but no other announcements were forthcoming.
The passengers were not told that they had landed at the wrong airport as the pilots could not continue their journey to Sochi and opted to land in Krasnodar.
Passengers stood and applauded the flight crew once the plane had come to a stop, while some requested to meet the pilot and take a selfie – which was refused.