'No survivors': Russian plane crashes with 71 people on board near Moscow

Posted February 12, 2018

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

The aircraft was carrying 71 people: 65 passengers and six crew members.

An emergency services source told Russian news agency Interfax that all 71 passengers were feared dead. Footage on state television showed them strewn across a snowy field with no buildings nearby.

Russia's emergencies ministry has confirmed the crash to local to media, although an official statement has not yet been released.

According to the report, a jet operated by Saratov Airlines was lost to radar upon departing from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into Saratov Airlines following the crash.

Shortly thereafter, the plane reportedly crashed near a village in the Moscow area.

The Russian transport minister was on his way to the crash site, agencies reported.

President Vladimir Putin "expresses deep condolences to all people who lost their relatives", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The crash might have been caused by weather conditions, human error or technical failure, according to TASS citing an emergency source.

"During the last seconds before it crashed the aircraft was falling with up to 22,000 feet per minute.The aircraft involved was a 7 year old Antonov An-148", Flight-tracking site Flightradar24 tweeted.

The plane was ordered by Rossiya Airlines, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, but was put into storage during 2015-2017 because of the parts shortage. All those on the aircraft were killed, the office of Russia's transport prosecutor said. Security lapses came under sharp criticism in 2004, after Chechen suicide bombers destroyed two airliners that took off from the airport on the same evening, killing a total of 90 people.