Russia jet carrying 71 people crashes after Moscow take-off


Wreckage presumed to be from the Saratov airlinerImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Wreckage was found in a snowy field south-east of Moscow

A Russian passenger plane has crashed after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport with 71 people on board.

The Saratov Airlines jet vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.

All those on board are thought to have died, officials told Russian media.

The An-148 was en route to the city of Orsk in the Urals, near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. It crashed early in the afternoon local time.

Those on board included 65 passengers and six crew. President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and announced an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Pictures from the site show pieces of wreckage in a snow-covered field. Tass news agency quotes an official as saying bodies were found nearby.

Flight-tracking site Flightradar24 tweets that the aircraft was descending at 1,000m (3,300ft) per minute (60km/h, 38mph) five minutes after taking off.

Image copyright
Flighradar24

Image caption

The Flightradar24 website shows the flight path

How good is Russia’s flight safety record?

Russian airlines have suffered two major plane crashes in recent years:

What do we know about Saratov Airlines?

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

The missing plane was An-148 like the one in this archive picture

Saratov Airlines is based in Saratov, 840km south-east of Moscow.

In 2015 it was banned from operating international flights when surprise inspectors found someone other than the flight crew was in the cockpit.

The airline appealed against the ban and changed its policy before resuming international charter flights in 2016.

It flies mainly between Russian cities but also has destinations in Armenia and Georgia.


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