A flight attendant who died while trying to help passengers escape a burning plane in Russia is being called a “hero.”
Maxim Moiseyev, 22, was working the Aeroflot flight when the plane had an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow and caught fire Sunday, according to reports.
When Moiseyev couldn’t get the jet’s back door open, he began grabbing passengers and pushing them to the front exit. He lost his life in the process, the New York Post reported.
He had refused to get off the plane until everyone was off, the Telegraph reported.
Of the 78 people on board the flight, at least 41 were killed, including two teens, according to reports.
Moiseyev had been in the military before becoming a steward and had only been on the job for 15 months.
Dmitry Khlebnikov, a passenger on the flight, told reporters that it was the crew who kept him alive.
“Thank you to the stewardesses, they saved me,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “The girls were standing near us. In the area where there was fuel, where it was dark, where the temperature was the highest, they brought people out of there and helped them get down the slide.”
The plane was reportedly struck by lightning after takeoff but didn’t catch fire until landing.
An online petition is calling for the Sukhoi SSJ100 to be banned after the incident, citing several recent safety problems.
In 2012, a jet of the same kind crashed into a mountain in Indonesia, killing 45 people.