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BREAKING: Russia jet carrying 71 people crashes after Moscow take-off

A Russian airliner has crashed after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, killing all 65 passengers and six crew on board.

The Saratov Airlines jet vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.

The cause of crash is unclear. Investigators and emergency crews are working at the snow-covered site.

The Antonov An-148 was en route to the city of Orsk in the Ural mountains.

Pieces of wreckage and bodies were found spread over a large area. One of the flight recorders has been recovered, officials say.

 

 

President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and announced an inquiry into the cause of the crash.

Most of the passengers were from Orenburg, the Russian region to which the plane was flying.

This is the first commercial passenger jet crash for more than a year – 2017 was the safest year on record for air travel

 

What we know so far

The plane took off at 14:27 (11:27 GMT) on Sunday. Contact was lost four minutes later.

Flight-tracking site Flightradar24 said it then descended at the rate of 1,000m (3,300ft) per minute.

Eyewitnesses told Russian media that the jet was on fire as it went down.

A Russian official has denied reports that the pilot reported a malfunction.

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