Yuri Smityuk - TASS/Getty Images

Witnesses reporting seeing an airplane in flames falling out of the sky. 

Alix Langone
February 11, 2018

A Russian passenger jet crashed Sunday 50 miles outside of Moscow, with none of the 71 people onboard surviving, according to Reuters

The cause of Saratov Airlines Flight 703 crash is still unknown, but the plane went missing just minutes after taking off from the Domodedovo Aiport, the Associated Press reported.

Flight 703 was en route to Orsk, a Russian city near the border of Kazakhstan. All possible causes of the fatal crash are being looked into by Russia’s Investigative Committee.

Witnesses reported hearing a huge explosion and seeing an airplane in flames falling towards the ground, while Russian news agencies said wreckage has been spotted in a field near Moscow, the Washington Post reported.

Unnamed investigators told Russian website gazeta.ru that the pilot asked for emergency landing clearance after reporting some type of malfunction, according to the BBC.

Tass, Russia’s state news agency, said the plane, which was manufactured in Ukraine and Russia, had been flying since 2010, but stopped for two years because of a parts shortage in Russia, according to the Associated Press.

Russia has had numerous high-profile plane crashes in previous years. The most recent crash happened in December 2016 when a Russian Defense Ministry plane headed to Syria fatally crashed in the Black Sea, killing all 92 people on the plane. 

Nine months before that, a FlyDubai Boeing 737-88 aircraft crashed in Southern Russia, killing all 65 people on board, reported The Guardian, saying the crash was a result of bad weather and pilot error.

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