Russia’s Transport Ministry has disclosed that a Russian passenger plane crashed shortly after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Sunday, killing all 71 people on board.
There were 65 passengers and six crew members aboard the short-haul flight. Three children – ages 5, 13 and 17 – were among the passengers.
“Judging by everything, no one has survived this crash,” Transport Minister, Maxim Sokolov said Sunday afternoon.
The Saratov Airlines flight was heading from Moscow to the city of Orsk near the Kazakhstan border but vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.
Pieces of wreckage and bodies were found spread over a large area, with officials reported as saying that one of the flight recorders has been recovered.
Debris was found about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Domodedovo Airport on Sunday. The plane went down in Ramenskoye District, in the Moscow region.
The crew of the Antonov An-148 aircraft were said not to have reported any problems before the ill-fated plane crashed into snowy terrain.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said all possible crash causes were being looked into. These reportedly include weather conditions and pilot error.
President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and announced an investigation into the crash.
He was due to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Sochi on Monday but has postponed his trip.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said Abbas will now meet Putin in Moscow in the latter part of Monday.
On Christmas Day 2016, 92 people died when a Tu-154 jet operated by the Russian Defence Minstry crashed in the black sea minutes after taking off to Syria.
In March 2016, a Boeing 737-800 flown by FlyDubai crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 people on board.