MOSCOW — Russia’s Emergencies Ministry says a passenger plane has crashed near Moscow and fragments of it have been found.
The An-148 regional jet disappeared from radar screens shortly after takeoff from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Sunday afternoon. News reports said 71 people — 65 passengers and six crew — were aboard the plane heading for the city of Orsk, about 1,500 kilometers (1,000 miles) southeast of Moscow.
The Tass news agency says the plane fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the airport.
Russian media said the jet belonged to Saratov Airlines.
Plane fragments were found in the Ramenskoye area about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the airport. Footage on state television showed them strewn across a snowy field with no buildings nearby. It was unclear if there were any casualties among people on the ground at the crash site.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said all possible crash causes were being looked into.
Shabby equipment and poor supervision had plagued Russian civil aviation for years after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but its safety record has improved markedly in recent years.
The last large-scale crash in Russia occurred on Dec. 25, 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Russian Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from the southern Russian city of Sochi. All 92 people on board were killed.
In March 2016, a Boeing 737-800 flown by FlyDubai crashed while landing at Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 people aboard.
An onboard bomb destroyed a Russian Metrojet airliner soon after taking off from Egypt’s Sharm al-Sheikh resort, killing 244 people in October 2015.