Russian passenger plane carrying 71 people crashes near Moscow

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There are no survivors from a passenger plane that crashed near Moscow, Russia's transport minister has said.

"Presumably, the plane crashed near the village of Argunovo, and there were no chances to survive for the crew and passengers", the agency interlocutor said.

The plane was being operated by Russia'a Saratov Airlines for a domestic flight from the capital to Orsk on the southern tip of the Ural Mountains.

The crash might have been caused by weather conditions, human error or technical failure, according to TASS citing an emergency source.

Flight-tracking site Flightradar24 said it then descended at the rate of 1,000m (3,300ft) per minute.

Authorities have started questioning Saratov Airlines employees and the Domodedovo Airport workers who prepared the plane for flight, Petrenko said.

Russian news reports say a passenger airline has crashed in the Moscow region.

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Instead, Abbas will meet with Putin in Moscow in the latter part of Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.

Russia's gazeta.ru website quotes unnamed investigators as saying the pilot had reported a malfunction and requested clearance for an emergency landing.

The footage appears to show the wreckage of the aircraft with 71 people feared to be dead.

The Antonov An-148 aircraft went missing from radars after taking off from Domodedovo airport, according to TASS.

Russian Federation has seen record high snowfall in recent days and visibility was reportedly poor.

The plane took off at 14:27 (11:27 GMT) on Sunday.

The Russian government dispatched 150 people and 20 pieces of equipment, including a Mil Mi-8 helicopter, to the crash site, the Ministry of Emergency Situations states.

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