MOSCOW – 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 to the bitter cold to help it move to the runway.
A Russian-made Tu-134 with 74 oil workers and seven crew members onboard was due to fly from the town of Ingarka on Tuesday to Krasnoyarsk 800 miles to the south when the plane's chassis breaks literally got frozen to the ground. It was -61 F outside and the passengers seemed desperate to get home.
Eager to help, several dozen men were 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," Oksana Gorbunova, senior adviser to the West Siberian transportation prosecutor, told the Tass news agency.
Gorbunova said 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 said.