'No survivors': Russian plane crashes with 71 people on board near Moscow


A plane carrying 71 people plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from Moscow on Sunday (Feb. 11), and Russian media said all of the passengers were feared dead.

The domestic plane was being operated by Saratov airlines, and had 65 passengers on board, along with six crew members.

Rescue teams are en route to where the plane is thought to have come down. Earlier, the Emergencies Ministry released the names of all 71 people on board the ill-fated aircraft.

Russia's investigative committee said all possible causes are being considered. Emergency services said in a statement that more than 150 rescue workers had been deployed.

The aircraft was heading for Orsk, a city close to the Russia-Kazakhstan border.

Wreckage from the plane was found in Ramensky area, about 40 kilometres from the airport.

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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.

The plane went down in Ramenskoye District, in the Moscow region, the Russian emergency ministry told CNN.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "deep condolences to all those who lost relatives and friends in this disaster", his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Tass.

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

Saratov Airlines was founded in the 1930s and flies to 35 Russian cities. Plane crashes are common in Russian Federation, where aging aircrafts are often approved for flight. A Tu-154 miitary transport crashed into the Black Sea in 2016, killing all 92 people aboard in a disaster blamed on pilot error.