Plane lands safely in Russia depite laser attack

Aug. 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Laser pointers were used in an apparent attempt to blind the pilots of a plane approaching the St. Petersburg airport, Russian police said Saturday.

The plane landed safely at Pulkovo-1 Airport, RIA Novosti reported. The pilots of Flight 205 from Kazan said they were about 1,500 feet up and six miles away from the airport when they were attacked, investigators said.

Laser pointers can cause temporary loss of sight or a glare that leaves pilots unable to see out the window. The beam from the pointers can be dangerous over a distance of several miles.

A bill to increase the penalties for laser pointer attacks on planes was introduced in 2011 but has not yet been passed. The Russian republic of Chechnya banned the pointers that year.

The Interior Ministry says attacks in Russia are most common around the two busiest airports, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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