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Russia: All 71 Onboard Killed in Plane Crash

Russia: All 71 Onboard Killed in Plane Crash

All 71 people aboard a Russian passenger plane were killed when it crashed near Moscow, Russian officials said 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.

The seven-year-old plane disappeared from the radar just minutes after departing from the capital city's second largest airport, Domodedovo and was falling up to 6,700 meters per minute in the last seconds of the crash, flight-tracking site FlightRadar24 reported.

The An-148 regional jet, operated by Saratov Airlines, was traveling from Domodedovo, to the city of Orsk when it crashed near Argunovo, about 80 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown.

Russian Minister for Transport Maxim Sokolov told reporters Sunday that it was too early to draw conclusions, but that all potential reasons for the crash were being investigated by the Civil Aviation Committee.

"Specialists have started working, right now they are collecting the remaining of the plane, search for so-called black boxes and only after the results of their investigation and examination we'll be able to raise the subject of the reasons of this plane crush," he said.

Sokolov also announced that a group of psychologists and doctors would travel to the Orenburg region Monday to help the families of the victims.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered "his profound condolences to those who lost their relatives in the crash," his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The crash site was covered in heavy snow, delaying access to the area as rescue workers had to park their cars and travel to the crash site on foot.

(VOA)

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