71 dead after Russian passenger plane crashes

Plane carrying 71 people crashes near Moscow - reports

The Antonov An-148 jet carrying 65 passengers and six crew members reportedly crashed in the countryside near the Russian capital on Sunday, according to local media.

Rescue teams are en route to where the plane is thought to have come down.

A source from Russia's emergency services told Interfax the 71 people on board had no chance of survival.

While it was unclear what exactly triggered the crash, the transport ministry has considered factors such as pilot error and weather conditions.

According to Russia's Investigative Committee, the plane's fragments are scattered over an area of at least one kilometer. The cockpit voice recorder and parts of the fuselage also have been retrieved from the crash site, Russia's Emergencies Ministry reported. Radio contact was lost several minutes after takeoff, and the plane disappeared from air traffic control radars.

Orsk is the second biggest city in the Orenburg region, near Russia's border with Kazakhstan.

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".

Tass reported that it re-entered service for Saratov Airlines in February 2017. The plane had been flying since 2010, with a two-year break because of a shortage of parts.

92 people die when a Russian military plane crashes into the Black Sea shortly after taking off from Sochi International Airport. Saratov was briefly banned from operating global flights in 2015 when inspectors found a person in the cockpit who was not part of the airline's flight crew.

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