Passenger plane crashes after leaving Moscow

Passenger plane crashes after leaving Moscow

A Russian AN-148 passenger jet had crashed shortly after taking off from the Domodedovo airport in Moscow.

"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.

A light aircraft crashed in November in Russia's far east, killing six people on board.

It's unclear what caused the crash, but possibilities vary from weather conditions to pilot error involving a technical malfunction.

Investigators said debris and human remains were spread over a radius of a kilometre from the crash site, stressing that a criminal case had been opened into the incident. It was first operated by Rossiya Airlines, including on worldwide routes, and then was leased to Saratov Airlines.

The Tass news agency says the plane fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area about 40km from the airport. Radio with the plane was lost several minutes after the takeoff and the plane went out of the radars.

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Images from Orsk airport show distressed relatives after learning the plane had crashed.

The Russian-made AN-148, purchased by the airliner a year ago, had been flying since 2010 but was shelved from 2015-2017 due to lack of parts.

Emergency workers combed through the field while investigators descended on the airport to search for clues to what brought the jet down.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, expressed his condolences to the families and friends of those who had died in the crash and tasked the government with setting up a special commission to investigate.

Russia's most recent high-profile plane accident came in December 2016 when a military transport plane carrying dozens of members of the Red Army choir to Syria crashed into the Black Sea.

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