Scottish Daily Mail


71 die as Russian plane ‘breaks up in air’

- Mail Foreign Service

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl was among the dead after a Russian passenger plane crashed, killing all 71 on board.

The jet broke apart just minutes after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, according to witnesses.

Several children were among those killed, including Nadezhda Krasova, five, local reports said. Her mother Oksana, 32, is also thought to be a victim.

The Saratov Airlines service was flying to Orsk, a city in the Urals near the Kazakhstan border, but crashed on the outskirts of Moscow yesterday afternoon, claiming the lives of 65 passengers and six crew.

Witnesses in the village of Argunovo saw a burning plane falling from the sky. Aviation website FlightRada­r reported the aircraft was last measured falling at a rate of 22,000ft a minute. State television broadcast a video of the crash site, showing parts of the wreckage in the snow. Debris was said to be scattered over more than a half-mile radius.

Russia has seen record high snowfalls in recent days and visibility was reportedly poor at the time of the crash.

However, if there was a mid-air structural failure, investigat­ors are likely to be considerin­g other explanatio­ns for the crash, including a terror attack.

An emergency services source told Russian news agency Tass: ‘Among possible causes of the crash are weather conditions, pilot error or a technical malfunctio­n.’

Also among the dead were 29year-old air stewardess Anastasia Slavinskay­a and co-pilot Sergey Gambaryan, 34. Others named victims include Ulyana Son, 28, Evgeny Livanov, 12, and Ilya Poletayev, 17.

Transport minister Maxim Sokolov said DNA tests would be needed to identify all the dead.

President Vladimir Putin offered his ‘profound condolence­s’ to the families of those on board.

Emergency workers rushing towards the wreckage were reportedly unable to reach the crash site by road, and had to walk to the scene.

The Russian-made plane, an Antonov An-148, was seven years old and bought by Saratov Airlines from another Russian airline a year ago.

Plane crashes are common in Russia, where airlines often operate ageing aircraft in testing flying conditions.

A British embassy spokesman said they were not aware of any British victims.

 ??  ?? Killed: Nadezhda Krasova, five, and her mother Oksana, 32 Wreckage: Debris from the plane
Killed: Nadezhda Krasova, five, and her mother Oksana, 32 Wreckage: Debris from the plane

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