Moscow, Feb 12: A passenger plane with 71 people on board crashed shortly after leaving Moscow, with no hope of survival of the crew and passengers, media reported on Sunday.
The Antonov-148 of Saratov Airlines with 65 passengers and a crew of six was en route from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow to Orsk of the Orenburg Region in western Russia, Xinhua cited the Interfax news agency as saying.
Radio contact with the seven-year-old Russia-made plane was lost at 14:21 Moscow time (1121 GMT), several minutes after the takeoff.
“Tentatively, the plane has crashed near the village of Argunovo. The crew and passengers had no chance to survive,” the source said.
Witnesses in the village of Argunovo told news media that they saw a burning plane falling from the sky.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered “his profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash” and issued an order to set up a government commission to probe into the crash, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the crash and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov has flown to the scene.
The Russian Transport Ministry said that several reasons of the crash are being considered, including weather conditions and human factors.