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Russia: Laser aimed at passenger jet landing at Moscow airport

A laser beam was aimed at a passenger jet as it was preparing to land on August 28 2013, according to the Russian Interior Ministry’s transport department.

The pilot of the Tupolev Tu-204 jet, bound from the city of Krasnodar in south Russia to Moscow, said he was blinded by the beam as the plane was approaching Vnukovo Airport. The plane landed normally; all 220 passengers and 8 crew were unhurt. An investigation is underway.

A similar illumination occurred on August 24 2013, to an airplane on approach to Pulkovo-1 airport in St. Petersburg, according to a UPI report.
The incident is the latest in a string of similar attacks. Several aircraft have been targeted by laser pointers in Moscow and St. Petersburg in August alone. According to the Interior Ministry, laser attacks are the most common in these two cities.

After a series of incidents involving lasers near airports in 2011, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, proposed such attacks should be punishable with prison terms of up to seven years in prison. The Duma plans to look at the bill again in the fall session.

From RIA Novosti (August 28 Moscow incident) and UPI (August 24 St. Petersburg incident)