Birds make Russian plane carrying 226 passengers crash-land, 23 injured

A Russian passenger jet flew into a flock of birds then crash-landed in a cornfield just outside a Moscow airport today.

The Ural Airlines Airbus A321 was carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven from Moscow's Zhukovsky airport to Simferopol -- a city on the Crimean Peninsula -- when it ran into trouble.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane "struck a flock of gulls," according to an official from the Federal Air Transport Agency, TASS reported.

"Some of the birds were sucked into its engines," he added.

The official told TASS that the emergency landing took place in a field less than a kilometer (0.62 miles) away from the airport's runway.

Twenty-three people, including five children, have been hospitalized, TASS reported.

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