Plane crash kills 71 outside of Moscow due to icy conditions – preliminary reports say

A plane crashed minutes after taking off just outside of Moscow at the weekend, killing all 71 people on board.

The AN-148 plane, operated by Saratov Airlines, had just taken off for the city of Orsk in central Russia from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport at 2.27pm on Sunday when it came down.

There was no emergency call from the plane, which was being flown by an experienced pilot, according to reports.

The plane was carried 65 passengers and six crew members. Some of the people on the flight were young – including a five-year-old girl.

It is believed that ice-covered speed sensors may have caused the plane to crash.

A fireball was seen rapidly approaching a snowy field minutes after it had taken off and disappeared from radars.

On Monday, hundreds of emergency workers scoured fields to search for clues, finding body parts.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered a special commission to investigate the cause of the crash, Reuters reports.

The president also cancelled a trip to Sochi and stayed in Moscow.

Shrines made up of flowers, toys and photographs were seen at Orsk airport on Monday – which was declared a day of mourning.

Most of the victims were from the city, which has a population of around 239,800.

DNA tests were in the process of being organised to identify the body parts, according to the country’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

Russia last suffered a major airline crash in December 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from Sochi, killing all 92 people aboard.

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