A major plane crash just outside of Moscow has left all 71 crew and passengers dead upon impact.
A Saratov Airlines passenger plane crashed into a field in Ramenski a short time after it had taken off from the Domodedovo airport in Moscow on its way to the city of Orsk some 1,500km from the capital. The pilot of the AN-148 short-haul aircraft lost contact with radio control two minutes before it hit the ground. The crew did not send out any distress signal prior to the accident.
The impact left human remains and debris scattered throughout the snow-covered field where the plane went down. The Russian Investigative Committee says there’s no chance of finding survivors.
Russian officials say they are investigating what caused the plane to fall, mainly taking into consideration human error, weather conditions, and the technical status of the eight-year-old craft. Outside temperatures hovered around negative 5 degrees Celsius at the time of the crash early this morning.
"The debris of the plane are spread over a radius of at least one kilometer. Investigators are using modern investigative equipment taking into consideration the large territory. They are using quadcopters to get a view from the air," Svetlana Petrenko of the investigatory committee told the press.
An emergency service official said the government is “verifying (eyewitness) testimonies” of the crash to help in the investigation.
The plane had carried 65 passengers and six Saratov Airlines crew members.