One of the world’s largest planes suffered serious damage after it skidded off the runway during a botched emergency landing in Russia.
Miraculously, no casualties were reported on the aircraft or on the ground despite part of an engine crashing through the roof of a warehouse near the airport on Friday.
The An-124 Ruslan cargo aircraft immediately got into trouble and lost radio contact after taking off from Novosibirsk airport in Siberia.
The colossal Soviet-designed plane with 14 crew inside circled before crash landing, skidding off the runway, causing damage to its front wheel and the left wing.
According to witnesses, smoke was pouring from one of its jet engines as it landed.
The plane came to rest some 300 metres off the runway at the city’s Tolmachevo airport.
One account said its left wing appeared “bent”.
The plane appeared to have trouble picking up speed on its takeoff, said witnesses.
It then turned and came into land within several minutes, say reports.
“After the engines of the plane started to smoke, there was a pop, then a fragment of the engine blades fell into the warehouse,” an onlooker told NGS news website.
“There were no casualties.
“The roof of the warehouse, racks and internal communications were damaged.”
Videos highlighted the stricken Antonov on its approach and emergency landing and pictures show it marooned at the airport.
The aircraft is the world’s heaviest military plane in current use.
It is unclear what cargo was on board, but the flight was bound for Austria.
The plane belongs to Russian carried Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
The Transport Investigative Committee said the plane was bound for Vienna, the Austrian capital.
Two minutes after take off “the aircraft made an emergency landing at Tolmachevo airport, and while landing, the plane rolled out of the runway.
“There were 14 crew members on board.”
A preliminary case into safety breaches has been opened under Russia’s criminal code.
The airport was temporarily closed and six flights were diverted to Barnaul and Kemerovo.