MOSCOW: A Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed outside Moscow on Sunday after taking off from the capital’s Domodedovo airport, Russian media reported.
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. Russian news agencies reported 65 passengers and 6 crew were on board.
News agencies said witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky.
A source from Russia’s emergency services told Interfax that the 71 people on board “had no chance” of survival.
The same news agency reported that the wreckage of the plane was spread over a wide area around the crash site.
The Russian-made plane was 7 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.
A source at Domodedovo, Moscow’s second largest airport, told agencies that the plane disappeared from radars within two minutes of take off.
The Russian transport minister was on his way to the crash site, agencies reported. The transport ministry said several causes for the crash are being considered, including weather conditions and human error.
The governor of the Orenburg region, where the plane was flying to, told Russian media that “more than 60 people” onboard the plane were from the region.
Prosecutors opened an investigation into Saratov Airlines following the crash.