All 71 passengers killed as Russian plane crashes

A Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed outside Moscow on Sunday after taking off from the capital’s Domodedovo airport, killing everyone on board. The Antonov An-148 plane operated by the domestic Saratov Airlines was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals, and crashed in the Ramensky district on the outskirts of Moscow. “Sixty-five passengers and six crew members were on board, and all of them died,” Russia’s office of transport investigations said in a statement. News agencies said witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky.
President Vladimir Putin offered “his profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
State television aired a video of the crash site, showing parts of the wreckage in the snow.
Russia has seen record high snowfall in recent days and visibility was reportedly poor.
The Russian-made plane was reportedly seven years old and bought by Saratov Airlines from another Russian airline a year ago.
Russian media reported that the emergency services were unable to reach the crash site by road and that rescue workers walked to the scene on foot. Emergency services said in a statement that more than 150 rescue workers were deployed to the site.
The transport investigations office said the plane disappeared from radar screens around four minutes after take-off.
The transport ministry said several causes for the crash were being considered, including weather conditions and human error.
Orsk is the second biggest city in the Orenburg region, near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. Russia has suffered numerous plane crashes, with airlines often operating old aircraft in dangerous flying conditions. — AFP