Russian Plane Crashes Near Moscow, Killing 71 People: Agencies

Russian Plane Crashes Near Moscow, Killing 71 People: Agencies

Russian Plane Crashes Near Moscow, Killing 71 People: Agencies

Instead of taking warning, he boarded the tragic jet liner and was killed when the AN-148 plane "exploded" in mid-air.

Investigators quickly ruled out a terrorist attack in Sunday's crash of the An-148 regional jet bound for Orsk in the southern Urals.

Recovery teams were facing hard weather conditions, including snow and strong wind, at the site located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Russian plane crash kills all 71 people on board, state media say".

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More than 700 people are involved in the search operation, struggling through deep snow, but aided by snowmobiles and nine drones.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the crash, which happened as temperatures hovered around minus 5 degrees Celsius with periodic snowfalls. The official list of passengers and crew has been published (in Russian) by the ministry.

Saratov Airlines Flight 703 crashed within six minutes of taking off from the airport, according to the report. The twin-engine plane was operated by Russia's domestic Saratov Airlines.

The jet, which was reportedly seven years old, was being flown by an experienced pilot who had 5000 hours of flying time. An explosion had occurred only after it crashed, they said.

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The An-148 was developed by Ukraine's Antonov company in the early 2000s and manufactured in both Ukraine and Russian Federation. About 40 were built, majority in Russian Federation that manufactured the plane under license.

The choir had been due to give a concert to Russian troops operating in Syria. Ukraine's president has used the plane for some of his trips.

"A special situation began to develop about two minutes and 30 seconds after the takeoff at an altitude of around 1,300 meters and the indicator speed of 465-470 km/h", the committee added.

Saratov resumed global flights six months later.

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Pilot error was blamed for that crash.

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