At least 18 people were injured when a passenger jet skidded off the runway and caught fire while landing in the Russian city of Sochi.

Officials have said flight UT579, a Boeing 737-800 operated by the Utair airline, was carrying 164 passengers and six crew from Moscow.

Video shows fierce flames from the aircraft after it crashed through the airport fence and fell into a riverbed.

Some of the injured suffered burns, others carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

A spokesperson at Sochi airport said one airport employee had suffered a fatal heart attack during the rescue operation.

The jet was attempting to land in strong wind and heavy rain early today, Russian media reported.

The plane’s undercarriage and a wing were damaged when it left the runway and a left engine then caught fire.

Three of the injured are children.

However, the fire has now been extinguished.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the incident “on suspicion of inadequate services with a risk to clients’ health”.

Last month, a helicopter belonging to Utair crashed in north-western Siberia, killing 18 people.

The fatal crash of a Russian airliner at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport in February again raised concern about national air safety.

It was the third major plane crash in the country since 2015.