You probably heard the tragic story of the Aeroflot plane that caught fire in Moscow on Sunday. Despite the fact that the pilots were able to land the plane at Sheremetyevo International Airport, at least 40 people were killed and even more injured. According to The New York Times, investigators were “focusing Monday on pilot error, equipment failure and bad weather as possible causes.”
There’s no reason to expect a similar fate for any of your future flights (don’t forget how safe commercial flying is). But the story comes with a critically important lesson: If you are ever in an emergency landing, you should not for any reason make an extra effort to get your bags before evacuating. Reports say that some passengers evacuating the Aeroflot plane did just that (some evacuees had bags outside the plane), and according to People, one survivor has shared strong words on the subject on Facebook. From the story:
“‘I do not know what to say about people who ran out with bags,’ crash survivor Mikhail Savchenko said on Facebook, according to an Associated Press translation. ‘God is their judge.’ While Savchenko rebuked their actions, he did not call on those passengers to be persecuted—instead, he turned more sympathetic, saying they likely weren’t thinking correctly in a life-or-death situation. ‘But I really want to ask [people] not to persecute them, I am sure that it is very hard for them now,’ Savchenko wrote, according to the New York Post‘s translation. ‘I do not think that at least one person in this burning hell coolly and deliberately dragged suitcases.'”
Making a similar point this week was Phil Derner, Jr., who tweeted the following:
Red indicates the seats of passengers that died on #SU1492, most of whom were burned beyond recognition.— Phil Derner, Jr. (@PhilDernerJr) May 8, 2019
This is what happens when people reach for their bags during fire evacuation.
We all have a hand in safety. pic.twitter.com/U9k7ysVLsT
It might be tempting to save your bag. But when lives are at stake in an emergency evacuation, you should follow the instructions of the crew and evacuate quickly. Simple as that.
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