Crew operating a freight flight from China had a lucky escape on January 8, 2022, when their aircraft caught fire before take-off.
The Aviastar Tupolev TU-204 was due to perform a freight flight from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) to Novosibirsk International Airport (OVB) in Russia. The aircraft, registration RA-64032, was carrying 8 crew and 20 tons of general cargo.
According to a report in the Aviation Herald, the plane was being pushed back for departure when a fire broke out in the cabin.
Emergency services were on the scene within 2 minutes of being called, but by then the fire had already broken through the upper fuselage. The crew evacuated safely. The aircraft was destroyed by the fire.
https://t.co/8AK7BtLNoM Emergency crews responding to a fire on a Aviastar-Tu Cargo Tupolev Tu-204-100S at Hangzhou yesterday. Photo by Ruimin YAN
— Airliners.net (@airliners_net) January 9, 2022
Fire onboard an aircraft can quickly lead to catastrophic consequences, especially while in flight.
On September 3, 2010, a UPS Boeing 747F flying from Hong Kong to Cologne via Dubai suffered a main deck cargo fire 22 minutes after take-off from Dubai. The crew initiated an emergency descent but smoke filled the cockpit and the pilots lost control, impacting the ground. The aircraft was destroyed and the two pilots killed. The fire was traced back to undeclared dangerous goods loaded in Hong Kong.