A regional airliner flying out of one of Russia’s busiest airports crashed Sunday outside Moscow, killing all 71 people aboard, officials said.
Saratov Airlines Flight 703, heading from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport to the city of Orsk on the Kazakhstan border, was carrying 65 passengers and six crew members, Russian officials said. It disappeared from radar screens several minutes after takeoff and went down in what witnesses described as a fiery crash southeast of Moscow.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Officials said that none of the people aboard the Antonov An-148 jet are believed to have survived, according to reports from Russian news agencies.
“We have all kinds of scenarios” for what may have caused the crash, Russian Transportation Ministry official Zhanna Terekhova told to a news channel. “This could have been caused by anything, including human error or weather conditions.”
“This is a tragedy for all of Orenburg,” Gov. Yury Berg said in a statement. “We will not leave anyone alone with the pain of losing loved ones.”
Russia’s most recent high-profile plane accident occurred in December 2016, when a military transport plane carrying dozens of members of the Red Army Choir to Syria crashed into the Black Sea.
Russia has long struggled with a poor airline safety record. From 2008 to 2017, 326 people died in accidents on Russian-scheduled commercial flights, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. Sixty-one people died in the same period on U.S. flights.