Plane crashes near Moscow, killing at least four

The remains of the plane have been put on to flat bed trucks and removed from the airport
The remains of the plane have been put on to flat bed trucks and removed from the airport Photo: APTN

A Russian passenger plane has been destroyed after being forced into carrying out a "hard landing" on a motorway outside of Moscow.

The plane that that crash landed at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport was able to touch down but was not able to stop within its landing strip.

The plane broke into pieces and caught fire, killing four people.

Amateur eyewitness footage shows the moment that the plane crashes into the side of a motorway and scatters debris over the area:

Officials said there were eight people aboard the Tu-204, belonging to Russian airline Red Wings, that was flying back from the Czech Republic without passengers to its home at Vnukovo Airport.

The plane's cockpit area was cut off from the fuselage and the tail section partly torn away.

Emergency crews began removing large pieces of debris from the highway, including the cockpit section.A spokesman for a Russian investigative agency said initial indications were that pilot error was the cause.Vnukovo, on the southern outskirts of Moscow, is one of the Russian capital's three international airports.