Russian jet 'crashes' after Moscow take-off

Feb 12, 2018, 00:34
Russian jet 'crashes' after Moscow take-off

Russia's Interfax news agency said the Saratov Airlines AN-148 jet crashed near the village of Argunovo in the Moscow region.

The Antonov AN-148 aircraft had gone off the radar soon after it left Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

"The crew and passengers had no chance to survive", an emergency official told Russia's Interfax news agency.

Emergency services said in a statement that more than 150 workers were deployed to the site.

Initial Russian reports blamed the weather or human error but it was unclear how these squared with claims that the plane broke up in the sky.

"According to preliminary data, there were 65 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane".

Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 broadcast images of plane parts in a snowy field.

The crash site was enveloped in heavy snow, making it hard to access, with emergency workers forced to park their vehicles and access the wreckage by foot.

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the crash and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov has flown to the scene.

Investigators are still looking into the cause.

What do we know about Saratov Airlines?

The last large crash in Russia happened on December 25, 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Russian Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea after taking off in Sochi.

The plane was carrying 65 passengers and 6 crewmembers, majority Russians, and was heading for the southern Russian city of Orsk.

Russian civil aviation has been plagued by shabby equipment and poor supervision since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but safety records have improved in recent years, the Associated Press reported.

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