Russia passenger jet crash: Plane carrying 71 'breaks up' in Moscow sky – no survivors

February 11, 2018
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Eyewitnesses reported seeing the An-148 aircraft operated by Saratov Airlines “breaking up in the sky” after it went missing from radar shortly after take-off from the Moscow airport.

Russia’s transport minister said there were no survivors and among the dead are two children, aged five and 12.

Emergency responders had to approach the crash site on foot as they were unable to get there in their vehicles.

Russia’s transport minister Maxim Sokolov said the bodies of the plane crash victims were so badly damaged that identification will have to be by DNA matching.

The plane’s black box, which records flight data has been recovered from the scene and the area has been cordoned off by the police and the Russian National Guard.


Russia plane crash photoREUTER/TWITTER

Russia plane crash: 71 people feared dead after sources report ‘no survivors’


Mr Sokolov said: ”The bodies are in such condition that it will require genetic tests.”

“It will be necessary to collect  biomaterials from relatives.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his “profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash”.

President Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said: “The president has instructed the government to set up a special commission over the plane crash in the Moscow region.

“Putin also instructed relevant agencies to organise the search operation.

Russia plane crash mapTWITTER

The aircraft was heading for Orsk, a city close to the Russia-Kazakhstan border

Russia plane crash wreakageREUTERS

Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site

“The president offers his profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash.”

Russia’s Investigative Committee have launched a criminal investigation and forensic teams are at the crash site.

Search teams are attempting to sift through the wreckage, according to an emergencies source, who added that many of the bodies were “mangled” and “not intact”.

A ministry spokesman also told Russia’s TASS news agency: “Fragments of the An-148 and several bodies plane have been found near the village of Stepanovskoye.”

Flight data shows the aircraft was falling 22,000 feet per minute when the radar signal was lost, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B network.

Russia plane crash emergency teamsREUTERS

Russia’s transport minister there were no survivors and among the dead are two children

A source told Russian media there were “no survivors”.

Villagers from Argunovo, near the crash site, reported seeing the burning plane falling from the sky over Moscow region’s Ramensky district.

An eyewitness told Russia’s Life Shot news outlet the plane exploded in the air. 

The local man said: “The explosion was huge, everything was shaking. 

“I heard the noise of jet turbines. Then silence.”

According to the witness there was a flash “like a big ball, like a mushroom”.

He added that the explosion led to “windows trembling” on the ground.

Radio contact with the Saratov Airlines An-148 passenger plane was lost several minutes after the takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, according to Russia’s Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya). 

Moscow’s Domodedovo airportEPA STOCK PHOTO

The Saratov Airlines plane when missing from radar shortly after take-off from Domodedovo airport

Images which have emerged on Russian media show what appears to be debris from the plane in the snow.

The plane was reportedly carrying a consignment of mail for the Russian postal service. It is unclear what parcels and packages contained.

A Russian Post spokesman told local media: “There was a sack with mail weighing about 30 kilograms.” 

A source told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “The airplane reportedly crashed outside Argunovo village in the Moscow region.

“The crew and passengers had no chance.”

Russia plane crash wreckageREUTERS

Russia plane crash: Witnesses reporting seeing an explosion

The agency said: “The An-148 passenger plane of the Saratov Airlines [flight 730 from Moscow to Orsk] took off from the Domodedovo airport at 14.21pm Moscow time. 

“According to preliminary data, there were 65 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane. Radio contact with the plane was lost several minutes after the takeoff and the plane went out of the radars. In happened in Moscow region’s Ramensky district.”

The aircraft was heading for Orsk, a city close to the Russia-Kazakhstan border.



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