A Russian passenger plane caught fire in Thailand after a top Russian official said the country's planes were safe despite sanctions on its airlines

Passengers on a plane
Passengers on a planeJohan Marengrd / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • A Russian plane caught fire while taking off from an airport in Thailand, according to reports.

  • A top Russian official said it has "not become more dangerous to fly" in Russia after sanctions on the country's airlines.

  • Passengers reported hearing "the sound of crackling" before the plane caught fire.

Passengers captured video of a Russian passenger plane that caught fire as it was preparing to depart from the Phuket International Airport in Thailand.

Cellphone video obtained by The Sun shows the plane's wing smoking while the plane drives across the airport's tarmac.

Azur Air, the Russian airline that owns the plane, did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Sunday. The company told The Sun in a statement that "airline technical specialists have already started work to eliminate the malfunctions."

The plane's passengers will be provided with a hotel, meals, and drinks while waiting for a new flight to Moscow, the company said in the statement. The aircraft could carry up to 321 passengers, The Sun reported.

Passengers reported hearing a loud "bang" and one said they "heard the sound of crackling" before the plane caught fire, The Daily Mail reported.

On Wednesday, the head of Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko, said he is confident that sanctions imposed on the supply of spare plane parts in Russia have not affected flight safety in the country, according to Simple Flying.

"Everyone who is responsible for aviation in our country made timely and correct decisions in response to the actions of those who joined the sanctions," Neradko said according to the outlet.

Neradko insisted that airlines "rearranging" spare parts to be used on different planes is a normal practice and said he expects Russian airlines to continue operating foreign-produced aircraft safely for the next seven years, Simple Flying reported.

It's unclear if the Azur Air flight underwent maintenance before departure and what caused it to malfunction.

"I am confident that it has not become more dangerous to fly - and it has nothing to do with the presence or absence of original spare parts," said Neradko said according to The Sun.

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