Plane crash outside Moscow leaves 71 dead amid snowy conditions

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
February 12, 2018, 9:26:04 AM EST

An airplane carrying 65 passengers and six crew members crashed outside Moscow amid snowy conditions on Sunday. Russia's transport minister confirmed that there were no survivors from the crash.

The plane, an Antonov An-148 regional jet that belonged to Saratov Airlines, disappeared soon after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport Sunday afternoon, local time, according to the Associated Press.

The aircraft reportedly crashed just outside the village of Argunovo, only about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Moscow.

"It was cloudy with light snow falling across the area at the time of the crash. Visibility was generally between 1-3 miles," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty.

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It is unclear if the weather played a role in the crash.

Snow on the ground may impact recovery efforts and make it difficult for crews to navigate around the crash site.

Debris from the crash has been scattered over 30 hectares (74 acres) of deep snow which will prolong recovery efforts, according to the Russian Emergency Ministry.

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said the search for victims’ remains will take a week; however, emergency teams have found the plane’s flight data recorder, which is crucial for determining the crash’s cause.

The aircraft was headed for Orsk, which lies near the Russia-Kazakhstan border, over 1,050 miles (1,700 kilometers) farther to the southeast.

"A group of rescuers have been sent to the possible crash site in Ramenski district on the outskirts of Moscow," the representative of Russia's ministry of emergency situations said.

Russia plane crash 2/11 AP

In this screen grab provided by the, the wreckage of a AN-148 plane is seen in Stepanovskoye village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Domodedovo airport, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. Russia's Emergencies Ministry says a passenger plane has crashed near Moscow and fragments of it have been found. ( via AP)

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