Obese passenger on doomed Russian flight blamed for blocking escape

A passenger on the flight that crashed in Moscow on Monday is accused of blocking others from reaching safety because he insisted on getting his bag out of the overhead locker.

Forty-one people on board a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane were killed after the aircraft caught fire as it made a bumpy emergency landing at a Moscow airport, Russian investigators say.

Many passengers on board SU-1492 then escaped via the plane's emergency slides that inflated after the hard landing.

But video of the evacuation process shows passengers disembarking clutching their hand luggage, in direct opposition to flight crew instructions.

Aviation writer Geoffrey Thomas says it's "extremely likely" these decisions cost people their lives.

"Clearly this is another situation where passengers getting their bags off, instead of just getting off the airplane, have tragically caused people to lose their lives," he told 7 News.

"It's just a real tragedy that this has happened, and it's been a problem for some time, with passengers not obeying crew instructions to get off the airplane as soon as possible."

In particular, obese plane crash survivor Dmitry Khlebushkin has been singled out for allegedly blocking others from escaping the burning aircraft while he got his backpack.

Russian media reports that no one seated behind Khlebushkin made it out of the burning plane alive.

Aviation online forum Forumavia posted: "On the video we see the first passenger jumping out taking four seconds.

"The second is that overweight man who was angry that he could not get a refund... from 10C seat. This is Dmitry Khlebushkin. He saved his backpack.

"And he is looking really great, knowing that everyone further back than the 11th row died."

After escaping the plane, he demanded a refund and complained about his treatment by Aeroflot staff.

"I failed to get a refund for my ticket for 40 minutes," he told media. "And in the end I did not get it at all."