More than 70 people died when a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Sunday, officials say.
Saratov Airlines flight 6W703 was heading to Orsk, a city near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan, when it went down near the town of Argunovo, about 50 miles south-east of Moscow. Witnesses said the plane, an Antonov An-148 aircraft, was in flames as it fell from the sky.
The plane was carrying 71 people – 65 passengers and six crew members. Emergency services officials told the Tass news agency there were no survivors. Wreckage from the plane was reported to be spread over a large area and it was unclear if there were any casualties among people on the ground.
Russia’s gazeta.ru website cited unnamed investigators as saying the pilot had reported a technical malfunction and asked for clearance for an emergency landing at the nearby Zhukovsky International airport. Officials have not confirmed the report. Other reports said one of the plane’s engines may have exploded before the crash.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, expressed his condolences to the families and friends of those who died in the crash and ordered the government to set up a special commission to investigate.
A source from Russia’s emergency services told Interfax the 71 people on board had no chance of survival.