A passenger plane carrying 71 people crashed shortly after taking off from an airport outside Moscow on Sunday, according to reports.
Russian Transportation Minister Maksim Sokolov told the Associated Press on Sunday that “judging by everything, no one has survived this crash."
Saratov Airlines Flight 6W703 went off the radar at around 3:30 p.m. local time after departing Moscow Domodedovo Airport, Russian news agency TASS reported.
“Fragments of the An-148 plane and several bodies have been found near the village of Stepanovskoye,” a spokesperson for Russia’s emergencies ministry told TASS.
Russia's Interfax news agency quoted emergency services as saying there is "no chance" of survivors. It reported that fragments of bodies were scattered at the site of the crash in Ramensky District, about 50 kilometers southeast of Russia's capital.
Russia's Ministry of the Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters published late Sunday a full list of all the passengers, and crew, who were onboard. More than 60 of those on board were from the Orenburg region near the southern border with Kazakhstan, the region’s governor’s press service said prior to the list being released.
President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to form a commission to investigate the crash, presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told TASS.
"The President also expresses deep condolences to all those who lost their relatives and friends in this disaster," Peskov said.
The cause of the crash is not yet known. The Russian Ministry of Transport said all theories are being considered, including weather conditions and human factors, Interfax reported.
Russia's Air Transportation Agency told TASS that authorities lost radio contact with the plane minutes after it took off.
Emergency vehicles failed to reach the site and were traveling on foot amid wreckage strewn a kilometer around the village of Argunovo, according to Interfax.
The jet, which was bound for Orsk, a city in the Urals, flew southeast and reached an altitude of 3,250 feet before its signal was lost, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24. Just five minutes after its departure, it was tracked descending 3,300 feet per minute, Flightradar24 said.
Ural56ru, a news provider based in Orenburg, posted footage of relatives of the plane's passengers waiting at the airport in Orsk, showing psychologists and doctors on the scene.
Plane crashes are relatively frequent in Russia, which tends to fly older planes compared to its European neighbors.
There were five fatal accidents in Russia last year, according to the Aviation Safety Network, including when a light aircraft plane crashed in the Far East of the country in November, killing all six people on board.
In 2016 there were seven fatal crashes, including when a Flydubai jet crashed during bad weather after aborting an attempt to land at Rostov-on-Don Airport, killing all 62 people on board.
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Maksim Sokolov's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this post.
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