Russian passenger jet crashes, killing 71

Feb. 11 (UPI) — A passenger jet carrying 71 people on board crashed after takeoff from a Moscow airport Sunday, killing all on board, local officials said.

The Antonov An-148 departed Domodedovo Airport en route to Orsk with 65 passengers and six crew members. The plane crashed near the village of Argunovo in the Orenburg region.

Russia’s air transport agency said the airport lost radio contact with the Saratov Airlines aircraft several minutes after takeoff.

“We have received reports that an An-148 passenger plane that took off from Moscow’s Domodedovo for Orsk airport went missing from radars. A team of rescuers has been sent to the presumable crash site in Moscow region’s Ramensky district,” a spokesman from the transport agency told Tass news agency.

Officials found wreckage and bodies spread over a large area. They were able to recover one of the flight data records — a so-called black box.

Russia’s Investigative Committee launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

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