Plane with 71 passengers aboard crashes near Moscow

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

The nation's Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov is also said to be on his way to the area. Earlier, the Emergencies Ministry released the names of all 71 people on board the ill-fated aircraft.

"According to preliminary data, there were 65 passengers and six crew members aboard the plane".

The cause of the crash is not known.

Interfax added, citing the Russian Transport Ministry, that several theories for the crash were being considered, including weather conditions and a human factor. Some reports suggested there were questions about whether the plane had been properly de-iced. There were more than 70 people on board the airliner.

Tass news agency quotes an official as saying bodies were found nearby.

"The crew was experienced, the plane was reliable", she said.

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The plane was in the air for less than 10 minutes when it started to "break up in the sky".

Interfax reported that the An-148 was manufactured less than eight years ago.

Witness footage from the scene broadcast on Russian television showed orange-painted pieces of the fuselage scattered across the snow. Preliminary reports indicated the pilots did not report any technical problems or activate a mayday call, Russia's Investigative Committee said.

President Vladimir Putin put off a planned trip to Sochi to monitor the investigation.

According to Peskov, the president's schedule for Monday includes contacts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who will arrive on a working visit to Russian Federation.

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