A passenger jet crashed outside of Moscow minutes after taking off, killing all 71 people aboard, according to reports.
The Saratov Airlines An-148 lost radio contact moments after it departed Domodedovo Airport at about 2:20 p.m. local time, according to Russian news agencies.
“The crew and passengers had no chance of surviving,” an unidentified official told the Interfax news agency.
Fragments of the Russian jet and body parts were discovered in Stepanovskoye, a village located southeast of the Russian capital.
The 65 passengers and six crew members were headed for Orsk, a southern Russian city near the border with Kazakhstan, the TASS news agency reported.
All the passengers were from the city and surrounding Orenburg province, regional government spokesman Sergei Sheremetsinsky told Interfax.
The nation’s Investigative Committee indicated to Russian media it’d open a criminal probe to look for possible safety violations or reckless behavior.
Deadly plane crash in Russia
Initial reports indicate the crew didn’t report any problems with the plane before it went down.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full investigation into what caused the crash, and offered his condolences to the families of those killed.
“The president instructed the government to create a special commission in connection with the plane crash in the Moscow region,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS. “Putin also instructed relevant departments to conduct the necessary search operations.”
Putin also put off a trip to Sochi in southern Russia, to oversee the recovery efforts.
The crash is one of the deadliest in recent years on Russian soil.
A military plane bound for Syria crashed into the Black Sea shortly after taking off from Sochi, Russia, on Christmas Day 2016. All 92 people aboard the flight were killed.
With News Wire Services