MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Unknown people pointed a laser beam at a passenger jet as it was preparing to land outside Moscow late Wednesday, the Russian Interior Ministry’s transport department has reported.
The purported laser attack targeted a Tupolev Tu-204 jet, bound from the city of Krasnodar in south Russia to Moscow, as the plane was approaching Vnukovo Airport, a department spokesman told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The plane landed normally, and all 220 passengers and 8 crew were unhurt, despite the jet's pilot saying he had been blinded by the beam, the Life News tabloid reported.
An investigation is underway.
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.
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.
The light from laser pointers can travel several kilometers, and can cause pilots short-term vision loss or glare on cockpit windows, preventing the pilots from seeing outside.
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