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A video has gone viral on the web featuring dozens of passengers pushing the wings of a Tupolev-134 airliner to set it rolling after the landing gear’s braking system seized up after the 24 hours the plane had been on the ground on a snowy Krasnoyarsk Territory airfield.
The story was told by Oksana Gorbunova, senior assistant to West Siberia’s transport prosecutor, relating the rescue of the Katekavia airline plane, scheduled to take oil industry shift workers on a November 25 charter flight to Krasnoyark’s Yemelyanovo airport. Freezing temperatures threatened to leave 74 passengers and seven crew members stranded.
"In air temperatures as low as 52 degrees below zero Celsius its braking system got jammed," Gorbunova said. "The tug-truck failed to get the plane moving so friendly passengers agreed to help and they soon safely left for home.”
Transport prosecutors are now probing the incident, notably into whether the plane had undergone proper maintenance. Inquiries also center on actions of the airport services, the air carrier and the crew.
As for the passengers, many of them found amusement in the incident. One of them is heard on the video noting the several things that make a real man’s life worth living: Writing a book, planting a tree, or at least bracing one’s muscles to help an immobilised passenger plane take to the skies.