Never Underestimate The Level of Stupidity of People In Large Groups

As of this writing, there’s been another plane crash in Russia.  This time it’s a Sukoi SuperJet that’s crashed in Moscow.  The plane landed with half of it on fire, and somehow the pilots were able to calmly bring the plane to a stop on a runway, where people started to evacuate.

That anyone got out alive seems to be a bit of a miracle.  At least based on the video:

Truly a miracle indeed.

But here’s the rub.  At the end of the story is a single sentence that makes my blood boil. It says:

There were unconfirmed claims people retrieving their bags from overhead compartments led to a delay in evacuating the aircraft.

It wouldn’t be the first time. There are countless pictures of people evacuating planes that are on fire, that have their luggage. If you don’t believe me, here’s an image:

And here’s an image:

And here’s yet one more:

There are literally dozens of these images all over the Internet.  And it doesn’t matter where the emergency is.  North America, Europe, Asia – it’s all the same.  People stop and get their luggage first, then get off the plane.  That is beyond screwed up.

My husband was on TWA Flight 379 from STL to SJC in July 2001, when we lived in California.  You probably don’t know about TWA 379, because it didn’t even make the national news, that I remember.  However, an engine blew up at altitude, and filled the cabin with smoke.  They had to do an emergency landing at Whiteman Air Force Base outside of Kansas City, because the pilots were afraid that the vibrations the engine was creating on the airframe could lead to engine separation, which would cause them to flip over, and surely crash.

When they touched down, the flight attendants did what they’re paid for – they evacuated that plane quickly and efficiently.  My husband said that there was not a single piece of luggage taken by any of the passengers.  Everything was left on board.  Why?  Because the flight attendants had planned for such an emergency, and stressed that in an emergency, you leave your luggage on the airplane.  The passengers listened, and they evacuated that plane before anything bad could happen.  The plane was supposed to get in at 7:30pm, but they finally got a new plane ferried in and arrived home about 4am the next morning.

So far unofficial casualty count for the Russian crash are 13 dead, including 2 children.  Some of them probably would have never survived due to the fire. But if even one person died due to the delay of someone getting their luggage out of the overhead bin?  That’s one too many.

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