At least 41 people have been killed after a Russian passenger plane burst into flames on Sunday at a Moscow airport after making an emergency landing.

According to the country's Investigative Committee, two children are among those who have died in addition to one American citizen as reported by Russian News Agency Interfax.

According to CNN, the Russian Superjet 100 was flying from Moscow to Murmansk when a fire broke out on board. The plane was forced to return and make a hard landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.  Interfax reports that Aeroflot Flight SU1492 experienced a "loss of communication" due to a lightning strike. Video of the crash shows the plane bouncing on the runway and becoming engulfed in flames shortly after making a hard landing.

Of the 78 people on board, including 73 passengers and five crew members, only 37 people survived while five survivors have been hospitalized.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered a "thorough investigation" of the crash according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
"All instructions have been given to conduct the most thorough investigation, [to carry out] the necessary orders to find out the cause of this accident," Peskov told state agency TASS.
The Investigative Committee has announced that it has launched a criminal probe into the occurrence, a routine for all major incidents involving loss of life.