Russia’s Transport Prosecutor confirmed on Sunday afternoon that all of the people on board the flight had been killed – including 65 passengers and six crew members.
An emergency services source had earlier told Interfax news agency that there was ‘no chance’ anyone could have survived. It had just taken off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Sunday afternoon, and was heading for the Urals in southern Russia - writes metro.co.uk .
A Russian plane has crashed, killing all 71 passengers and crew members on board. Russia’s Transport Prosecutor confirmed on Sunday afternoon that all of the people on board the flight had been killed – including 65 passengers and six crew members.
An emergency services source had earlier told Interfax news agency that there was ‘no chance’ anyone could have survived. It had just taken off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Sunday afternoon, and was heading for the Urals in southern Russia.
‘Debris has been found, there are no survivors,’ a source told TASS news agency. Another source, from the emergency services, added: ‘The plane crashed near the village of Argunovo. The crew and passengers had no chance.’ The Saratov Airlines flight, an Antonov An-148 jet, was on its way to Orsk in Orenburg Oblast, near the southern Russian border with Kazakhstan.
Trackers showed that it had reached an altitude of around 6,400 feet.
But less than 10 minutes after take-off, as it was flying near Yusupovo and Argunovo, it suddenly vanished from air traffic control radars. It later emerged that it had crashed just outside Moscow. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has said it is urgently sending crews to the reported crash site.
Passengers’ bodies have been found near the small town of Zvyozdny, near Moscow, and that the plane wreckage has been located.
Officials still do not know what caused the crash. However, the Russian Transport Ministry said it was considering a number of possible causes – including weather conditions and pilot error. Elena Voronova, a spokeswoman for Saratov Airlines, said there had been no concerns about the technical condition of the plane, which had entered service in 2016.
Distraught relatives were seen waiting at Orsk airport, some with their heads in their hands, as they watched the news. Ork’s mayor told Rossiya 24 that a team of psychologists were now working at the airport to comfort those who may have lost their loved ones.
Russian news site Gazeta.ru claimed that the wreckage of a Russian Post helicopter had also been found at the site – suggesting that it had collided with the plane just before the crash. President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to those who had lost relatives and ordered a special investigative commission to be set up.
Putin put off a planned trip to Sochi in order to closely monitor the investigation. He was due to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday in the Black Sea resort, where the president has an official residence. Instead, Abbas will meet with Putin in Moscow in the latter part of Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies. ‘According to preliminary information, nobody survived,’ the Kremlin said in a statement.
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