Plane carrying 71 people crashes near Moscow

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

A Russian passenger jet crashed several minutes after takeoff from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on Sunday, killing all 71 people on board, Russia's Air Transport Agency confirmed.

The aircraft crashed near the Argunovo village, about 80 km south-east of Moscow, according to the local Interfax news agency.

Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov is heading to the scene of Saratov Airlines An-148 crash in the Ramesnky District of the Moscow region, a spokesperson for the ministry told Sputnik.

Prosecutors opened an investigation into Saratov Airlines following the crash. Six crew members were also aboard.

Russian state news agency Tass reported all 71 people onboard had died. The Antonov An-148 plane that went off the radar is operated by the domestic Saratov Airlines. All possible causes of the fatal crash are being looked into by Russia's Investigative Committee. Some reports suggested there were questions about whether the plane had been properly de-iced. "The snow is very dense. the Moscow region has had some of its heaviest snowfall in decades", CNN's Matthew Chance reported from Moscow. It was on route to Orsk in the Orenburg Region about 1,000 miles away when it crashed, Elena Voronova, a spokeswoman for the airlines, told ABC News.

The plane's wreckage lies in Stepanovskoye village, about 40km from where it took off. Reports said the pieces were strewn over an area about a kilometre (0.6 miles) wide.

The plane was initially thought missing after going off radar after it took off.

Here's what we know so far about the tragedy, from where the aircraft came down to the crash's death toll.

There were no known complaints that the plane had technical problems, Voronova said.