Res­cuers trudge through deep snow to reach Rus­sian plane

Pas­sen­ger jet went down in field out­side Moscow

Global Times - - Front Page -

Res­cuers on Mon­day searched through deep snow for body parts and de­bris af­ter a Rus­sian pas­sen­ger plane crashed near Moscow min­utes af­ter take-off, killing all 71 peo­ple on board, in the coun­try’s dead­li­est air crash since 2016.

The Antonov An-148 plane went down in a snow-cov­ered field, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to ac­cess, with emer­gency work­ers forced to reach the wreck­age by foot or on snow­mo­biles.

The ac­ci­dent hap­pened in Ra­men­sky dis­trict around 70 kilo­me­ters south­east of Moscow on Sun­day at 2:28 pm af­ter the plane de­parted from Do­mode­dovo air­port out­side the Rus­sian cap­i­tal.

Sixty-five pas­sen­gers and six crew mem­bers were on board and all of them died, Rus­sia’s In­ves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee said.

The flight was op­er­ated by the do­mes­tic Sara­tov Air­lines and was headed for the city of Orsk in the Oren­burg re­gion close to Rus­sia’s bor­der with Kaza­khstan.

On Mon­day, res­cuers in dark uni­forms trudged across the site in for­ma­tion, us­ing shov­els to shift snow around 40 cen­time­ters deep, an AFP video jour­nal­ist saw.

The In­ves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee, which takes charge of ma­jor in­ci­dents and is prob­ing the crash of the 8-year-old plane, said that the air­craft caught fire on the ground af­ter crash­ing. “At the mo­ment of falling, the aero­plane was in­tact, with­out a fire. An ex­plo­sion took place af­ter the plane crashed,” it said, adding that it is look­ing into fac­tors in­clud­ing the pi­lots’ train­ing and the plane’s tech­ni­cal state.

A Swiss ci­ti­zen and a ci­ti­zen of Azer­bai­jan were among the dead listed by the emer­gency ser­vices min­istry. A Kazakh ci­ti­zen may also have died, trans­port min­is­ter Maxim Sokolov said.

Three vic­tims were chil­dren, in­clud­ing a 5-year-old girl.

The vic­tims’ re­mains were so dam­aged that ge­netic test­ing is re­quired, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin sent con­do­lences and “is con­stantly re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion” about the crash, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told jour­nal­ists.

Putin – who is run­ning for re­elec­tion in a March 18 poll – can­celed plans to travel to the Black Sea re­sort of Sochi to meet Pales­tinian leader Mah­mud Ab­bas on Mon­day. In­stead, the meet­ing was to take place in Moscow.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.