Saratov Airlines plane

Russian plane with 71 crashed near Moscow

An Antonov An-148 operated by Saratov Airlines and carrying 65 passengers and 6 crew reportedly crashed shortly after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

According to the local news websites, the plane crashed outside Argunovo village in the Moscow region.

The aircraft departed from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport and was heading for Orsk, a city lying close to the Russia-Kazakhstan border.

Initial reports suggests no survivors.

Among them were three children and three foreigners, reportedly citizens of Switzerland, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Later, the airline said the captain on the ill-fated flight, Valery Gubanov, was an experienced pilot who had accumulated 5,000 flight hours. Two technicians who conducted the last maintenance of the plane were also reportedly on board the aircraft at the time of the crash, according to Saratov transport prosecutor’s office.

The debris and dead bodies are scattered over a wide area, and rescue efforts are complicated by the snowfall and strong winds that have gripped the Moscow region.

Preliminary reports indicate the pilots did not report any technical failures, nor did they activate a mayday call, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.

The crash might have been caused by weather conditions, human error or technical failure, according to TASS.

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