The Kremlin considers pilots who performed a successful emergency landing of an A321 aircraft at a field near Moscow on Thursday morning to be heroes, they saved dozens of lives, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“The plane’s passengers and crew remained alive, we wish a speedy recovery to those injured, and congratulations to the hero pilots who saved lives and landed the plane,” Peskov told reporters.

He said investigators would soon establish the exact causes of the emergency landing.

The Simferopol-bound aircraft, carrying 226 passengers and seven crew members, was forced to make an emergency landing earlier in the day soon after taking off from Zhukovsky Airport after a bird strike.

According to the recent data provided by the Russian Health Ministry, a total of 55 people, including 17children, were hospitalised following the incident.

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