World

All 71 On Board Dead As Russian Passenger Plane Crashes Near Moscow

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| February 12 , 2018 , 11:29 IST

All 71 people on board a Saratov Airlines passenger plane were killed in a crash near Moscow, Russia on Sunday. The plane was heading from the Domodedovo airport of Moscow and was flying to Orsk a city on the Kazakhstan Border.

The An-148 Saratov Airlines passenger plane was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals, and crashed in the Ramensky district on the outskirts of Moscow.

Russia's office of transport investigations said in a statement that "Sixty-five passengers and six crew members were on board, and all of them died." 

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The transport investigations office, Russia said the plane disappeared from radar screens around four minutes after take-off.

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 indicated in a statement that more than 150 rescue workers were deployed to the site.

The crash left chunks of wreckage strewn across a field outside Moscow. A "black box" flight recorder from the airliner was found, although it was not immediately clear if it was the data or voice recorder.

President Vladimir Putin in a statement said "My profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash."

The Russian-made plane was reportedly 7 years old and bought by Saratov Airlines from another Russian airline a year ago.

Russia has seen record high snowfall in recent days and visibility was reportedly poor.

The transport ministry said that they are investigating the incident and several causes for the crash are being considered, including weather conditions and human error. They have also opened an investigation into Saratov Airline.

The governor of the Orenburg region, where the plane was flying to, told Russian media that more than 60 people on board the plane were from the region.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed condolences on the event, in a tweet. 

Russia has suffered numerous plane crashes, with airlines often operating ageing aircraft in dangerous flying conditions.

Earlier, a light aircraft crashed in November in Russia's far east, killing six people on board.