Russian plane carrying 71 crashes with ‘no survivors’
A Russian plane has crashed with at least 65 passengers and six crew members on board.
An emergency services source told Interfax news agency that there was ‘no chance’ anyone could have survived.
It had just taken off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport and was heading for the Urals, according to Russian media.
‘Debris has been found, there are no survivors,’ a source told TASS news agency.
Another source, from the emergency services, added: ‘The plane crashed near the village of Argunovo. The crew and passengers had no chance.’
The Saratov Airlines flight, an Antonov An-148 jet, was on its way to Orsk in Orenburg Oblast, near the southern Russian border with Kazakhstan.
Trackers showed that it had reached an altitude of around 6,400 feet.
But less than 10 minutes after take-off, as it was flying near Yusupovo and Argunovo, it suddenly vanished from air traffic control radars.
It later emerged that it had crashed just outside Moscow.
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has said it is urgently sending crews to the reported crash site.
Media outlets in Russia are reporting that passengers’ bodies have been found near the small town of Zvyozdny, near Moscow, and that the plane wreckage has been located.
Officials still do not know what caused the crash.
However, the Russian Transport Ministry said it was considering a number of possible causes – including weather conditions and pilot error.
Russian news site Gazeta.ru claimed that the wreckage of a Russian Post helicopter had also been found at the site – suggesting that it had collided with the plane just before the crash.