Dozens Get Out to Push Plane Stuck in Ice

Russian officials not pleased at herculean efforts in Arctic Circle incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 26, 2014 10:30 AM CST

In other countries, you may be asked to give a push to a car stuck in the mud. In Russia, passengers in the Arctic came out of an airliner and into the bitter cold to help it move to the runway. A Russian-made Tu-134 with 74 oil workers and seven crew members on board was due to fly from the town of Igarka yesterday to Krasnoyarsk 800 miles to the south when the plane's chassis brakes literally got frozen to the ground. It was -61 degrees Fahrenheit outside and the passengers seemed desperate to get home. Eager to help, several dozen men can be seen in an amateur video pushing the plane by leaning on both wings.

Russian authorities, however, weren't amused by the incident, and prosecutors launched an investigation into a possible breach of safety regulations. "It would be funny if it didn't pose a horrendous threat. People could have damaged the aircraft skin and the flaps," says Oksana Gorbunova, a senior adviser to the West Siberian transportation prosecutor. Gorbunova says the passengers were asked to leave the plane when it got stuck. When a tractor began towing the airliner, some of the passengers left a bus and tried to help move it. "The plane was towed, of course, because it would be physically impossible for people (to move it)," Gorbunova adds. (More Russia stories.)

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