STEPANOVSKOYE: Inves-tigators scoured the scene Monday after a passenger plane crashed near Moscow minutes after take-off, killing all 71 people on board, in one of Russia’s worst-ever plane crashes, reports AFP.
The site of the crash was enveloped in heavy snow that was waist-high in places, making it difficult to access, with emergency workers forced to reach the wreckage by foot and use snowmobiles.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said it would consider explanations for the crash including human error, technical failure and weather conditions, as the country has experienced record snowfall in recent weeks. It did not mention the possibility of terrorism.
The Antonov An-148 plane went down in the Ramensky district around 70 kilometres (44 miles) southeast of Moscow after taking off from Domodedovo airport in the Russian capital and disappearing off the radar at 2:28 pm Sunday.
“Sixty-five passengers and six crew members were on board, and all of them died,” Russia’s office of transport investigations said in a statement.A Swiss citizen and a citizen of Azerbaijan were among the fatalities on a list released by the emergency services ministry. Three children also died including a five-year-old girl.