The pilot of a passenger plane that crashed in Russia on Sunday says the aircraft was struck by lightning and lost radio communication.
The Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 burst into flames after making an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
It took off from the same airport, but turned back after running into trouble in mid-flight. Of the 78 passengers and crew on board, 41 were killed.
Pilot Denis Evdokimov gave an interview to Russian state-run TV on Monday. Evdokimov said the plane lost communication due to the lightning strike. He added that, even though the crew managed to restore the link with ground controllers through an emergency frequency, it kept cutting out.
Flight attendant Tatyana Kasatkina said the plane entered a cloud soon after takeoff and was hit by strong hail. She added that there was some kind of flash, like electricity.
Authorities are looking at all possible causes, including human error.