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14:22, 11 February 2018

Russian Plane Crashes Close to Moscow 71 Are Feared Dead


Russian Plane Crashes Near Moscow 71 Are Feared Dead

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MOSCOW — A Russian plane carrying 71 folks crashed shortly soon after takeoff in the Moscow region on Sunday afternoon, most likely killing all onboard, according to local news reports.

Flight 703, operated by Saratov Airlines, was carrying 65 passengers and six crew members from Domodedovo Airport to Orsk when it went down close to the village of Argunovo, about 50 miles southeast of Moscow, the Sputnik news agency reported.

Fragments of the plane and several bodies were discovered close to the village of Stepanovskoe, the official news agency Tass, reported, citing a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry.

The Russian aviation authority, Rosaviatsia, confirmed that the plane, an AN-148 aircraft, departed at 2:21 p.m. from Domodedovo Airport and disappeared from radar shortly right after.

“Several minutes after takeoff, radio connection with the crew disappeared, the plane’s mark disappeared from radars,” the agency mentioned in a statement.

The ministry said in a statement that “rescue workers, ambulances and firefighters” headed to the web site of the crash, an open field.

“The snow is deep, we need to have heavy-duty equipment,” Andrei Kulakov, head of the Ramenskoe District, exactly where the plane wen down, said in an interview broadcast by the news channel Rossiya 24.

President Vladimir V. Putin expressed his condolences and ordered his cabinet to produce a commission to investigate the crash, according to the state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

In December 2016, a Russian aircraft bound for Syria carrying a military band to entertain Russia’s forces there crashed into the Black Sea moments after takeoff, killing all 92 men and women aboard.

In October 2015, a Russian charter flight ferrying 224 passengers and crew members to St. Petersburg from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, crashed quickly after taking off, killing absolutely everyone on board.

After months of cautious silence, Egypt acknowledged that terrorists had most probably brought down the plane.

Anne-Sophie Bolon contributed reporting from London.

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Published at Sun, 11 Feb 2018 14:01:29 +0000


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