MOSCOW – A two-engined Russian regional passenger jet plane carrying 71 people on board crashed into a snowy field shortly after taking off in bad weather from a Moscow airport on Sunday, killing all aboard, Russia’s government said.
The Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies said the aircraft had crashed in Ramenskoye District, Moscow Region near the settlement of Stepanovskoye and published a list of the names of all 71 occupants.
“According to preliminary information, there are no survivors,” the website of President Vladimir Putin said.
Putin also expressed deep condolences to all those who lost their relatives and friends as a result of the crash.
The aircraft had taken off from the capital’s Domodedovo Airport and came down 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Moscow.
“Investigators will check all possible causes for the plane crash, including weather conditions, the human factor, the technical condition of the aircraft and other possible scenarios,” said Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s main federal investigating authority.
Reports said that aircraft fragments had fallen within a radius or not less than one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile).
The Russian-made Antonov AN-148 belonging to Saratov Airlines had been flying to the city of Orsk, south of the Urals, when it disappeared from radar screens, the Interfax news agency said.
Locals from that area reportedly told the agency that they saw how the AN-148 fell to the ground, engulfed in flames.
“More than 150 people and 20 units of equipment are dealing with the accident,” Russia’s civil defense and emergencies ministry said.
The plane took off at 14:21 local time (1121 GMT) with 65 passengers and six crew members aboard.