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Russian media: Plane with 71 aboard crashes near Moscow

Russian media: Plane with 71 aboard crashes near Moscow

"We have received reports that an An-148 passenger plane that took off from Moscow's Domodedovo for Orsk airport went missing from radars".

The Antonov was operated by domestic Saratov Airlines and was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his "profound condolences" to the families of the victims.

Rescue teams are approaching the crash site on foot as they were unable to get there in their vehicles.

Debris and human remains were spread over a radius of a kilometer from the crash site, investigators said. An official of the Emergency Situations Ministry said two bodies and a flight recorder had been found. The radio communication with the crew was lost several minutes after the take-off, the aircraft disappeared off the radar screen. "It's not clear at this stage whether weather was factor in this crash".

Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 showed footage of fragments of the plane in a snow-covered field.

Prosecutors opened an investigation into Saratov Airlines following the crash. Tass reported that it re-entered service for Saratov Airlines in February 2017. Its hub is Saratov Central Airport in southern Russian Federation.

Russian civil aviation has been plagued by shabby equipment and poor supervision since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but safety records have improved in recent years, the Associated Press reported.

Russian Federation has suffered numerous plane crashes, with airlines often operating ageing aircraft in unsafe flying conditions.

A Russian plane with 71 people onboard crashed just minutes after leaving Moscow Airport.

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