3-year-old Girl Was the Only Survivor in Tragic Plane Crash
She was reportedly on the way to visit her grandmother.
A 3-year-old girl miraculously survived a plane crash in far eastern Russia on Wednesday. The devastating crash killed all six of the other people on board.
According to the Associated Press, the L-410 twin-engine turboprop plane, which was owned by the regional carrier Khabarovsk Airlines, crashed as it attempted to land at the small airport near the village of Nelkan. The flight was reportedly on its regular path from Khabarovsk to Nelkan.
Vyacheslav Shport, the region’s governor, told reporters that the child was flying with pilot Igor Shumakov, 42, and co-pilot Alexander Zuev, along with passengers Anna and Olga Laponnikov, Svetlana Pakhomova, and Denis Amosov.
The child was reportedly onboard the plane heading to visit her grandmother, and her parents were not on the flight.
The child, who the Daily Mail identified as Zhasmina Leontyeva, was conscious when rescuers arrived. She reportedly suffered from a concussion and a fractured ankle.
“I almost turned grey before finding out my daughter is alive,” the girl’s mother, Marya Leontyeva, told the Daily Mail. "I am so sorry for the other passengers,'" she said. "How appalling this is."
Marina Kravchenko, a spokeswoman for Khabarovsk airport, told the Daily Mail, “The pilot flew after a delay due to bad weather at the arrival airport.”
An investigation has now been launched into what caused the crash, however, the Associated Press reported that investigators are already looking at several potential causes including weather, crew error, or technical malfunctions.
While this child was extraordinarily lucky, there are things you can do to improve your chances of survival in a plane crash.
First, it’s key to remember it’s extremely unlikely you’ll ever be in a plane crash (there is only one per every 1.2 million flights). But if you are worried about a crash, you may be safest sitting in a middle seat, according to a TIME analysis.
And when you board your plane, be sure to identify how many rows back the emergency exit is from your seat, and keep your seatbelt fastened whenever you're sitting.
Cheryl Schwartz, a retired flight attendant for United Airlines, also recommends you choose a seat towards the back of the plane.
Finally, Schwartz noted if you are in a plane crash do not, under any circumstances, attempt to take your bags with you in an emergency evacuation.
“We have 90 seconds to evacuate 600 passengers or 30 passengers,” she said. “We have trained and know how to do it, and your carry-on doesn’t fit into the mix.”