A passenger plane en route to Orsk has crashed near the Russian capital carrying 71 people on board. President Vladimir Putin ordered “relevant agencies to organize the search operation” after offering his condolences.
An Antonov An-148 plane, operated by Saratov Airlines, had just taken off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, and was headed to Orsk — a city in the Urals near the border with Kazakhstan — with 71 people on board when it crashed on the outskirts of the Russian capital on Sunday, according to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, dw.com informs.
“Fragments of the An-148 plane and several bodies have been found near the village of Stepanovskoye,” the state-owned TASS news agency quoted the ministry spokesman as saying.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his “profound condolences” to the families of the victims.
“The president has instructed the government to set up a special commission over the plane crash in the Moscow region,” Peskov said. “Putin also instructed relevant agencies to organize the search operation.”
Russia opens probe into Saratov Airlines plane crash
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the crash of a Saratov Airlines plane near Moscow. The Antonov An-148 jet was carrying 65 passengers and six crew members. Authorities say all lines of inquiry into the plane crash are open, rt.com reports.
Rescuers have arrived at the site and found two bodies from the crashed plane, Russia’s EMERCOM said.
Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov flew to the site of the alleged crash near Argunovo village in the Moscow region, officials confirmed.