'No survivors' as Saratov Airlines plane with 71 aboard crashes in Moscow region shortly after take off

The plane, which was flying to the Russian city of Orsk, is reported to have crashed near the Argunovo village

Sunday 11 February 2018 13:25
Video from scene of deadly plane crash near Moscow, Russia

A plane with 71 people on board has crashed in the Moscow region, leaving no survivors, the office of Russia's transport prosecutor has said.

The An-148 regional jet disappeared from radar screens minutes after taking off from Domodedovo airport.

The Saratov Airlines plane, which was flying to the Russian city of Orsk, had 65 passengers and six crew aboard and is reported to have crashed near the Argunovo village.

Animation shows moment flight passenger plane with 71 people on board disappears from radar

It began descending at 3,300 feet per minute soon after starting its journey, Flightradar24, an air traffic website, posted on Twitter

TV images of the crash site showed wreckage of the plane, including at least one engine, lying in fields covered with thick snow.

Helicopters were at the scene as well as rescuers on snowmobiles. An official of the Emergency Situations Ministry said two bodies had been found at the site.

Russian state news agency Tass said the authorities had confirmed that fragments of the crashed airliner had been found.

"Debris has been found, there are no survivors," Tass quoted a source as saying.

Fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the airport.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. The Russian Transport Ministry was considering various possible reasons, including weather conditions and pilot error, Interfax said.

Elena Voronova, a spokeswoman for Saratov Airlines, said there had been no concerns about the technical condition of the plane, which had went into service with her company in 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences and pledged to create a commission to investigate the crash, according to state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

Agencies contributed to this report

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