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71 feared dead after plane crashes near Moscow

Fragments of the plane were found about 25 miles from the airport.

A passenger plane has crashed near Moscow and fragments of it have been found, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has said.

The An-148 regional jet disappeared from radar screens shortly after takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Sunday afternoon.

News reports said 71 people — 65 passengers and six crew — were on board the plane heading for the city of Orsk, about 1,000 miles south-east of Moscow.

The Tass news agency said the plane fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area about 25 miles from the airport.

There were no reports of any survivors, and it was unclear if there were any casualties among people on the ground at the crash site.

The Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Sheremetsinsky, a spokesman for the regional governor, as saying that all passengers were residents of the Orenburg region.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said all possible crash causes were being looked into.

Russian media said the jet belonged to Saratov Airlines.

Tass said the plane had first flown in 2010, with a two-year break because of a shortage of parts.

It was ordered by Rossiya Airlines, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, but was put into storage during 2015-2017 because of a lack of parts.

Tass reported that it re-entered service for Saratov Airlines in February 2017.

The jet was developed by Ukraine’s Antonov company in the early 2000s, and was manufactured in both Ukraine and Russia.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph