5-year-old Girl, 70 Others Killed In Russian Plane Crash

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A five-year-old girl and her mother were among 71 people who
died when a Russian passenger plane crashed near Moscow
shortly after taking off yesterday.
Nadezhda Krasova, five, the youngest victim in the crash, died
along with her mother Oksana Krasova, 32, after the Antonov
An-148 airliner broke up in mid-air, according to eyewitness
reports.
The Saratov Airlines regional jet disappeared from radar screens a
few minutes after departing from the capital’s Domodedovo
Airport, according to the Mail newspaper. The plane crashed, with
65 passengers and six crew aboard, just a few minutes after
setting off Orsk, a city in the Urals, around 1,000 miles southeast
of Moscow.
Like many of the victims, Nadezhda and her mother were from
Orsk, in Orenburg region, which will mark a day of mourning today.
The governor of the Orenburg region, where the plane was flying
to, told Russian media that “more than 60 people” on board the
plane were from the region.
However, Russian sources said foreigners from Switzerland,
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were also on the doomed flight.
Aviation website FlightRadar reported the aircraft was last
measured falling at a rate of 22,000ft per minute.  Fragments from
the Antonov An-148 airliner 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.
Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said yesterday afternoon that
“judging by everything, no one has survived this crash.” Russia’s
Investigative Committee said all possible causes were being
explored.
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The crew did not report any problems prior to the plane falling out
of the sky, Russian sources said. “No reports about technical
malfunctions were received from the plane’s crew,” said Svetlana
Petrenko of the Russian Investigative Committee which has
launched a criminal investigation into the crash.
Airport staff in Moscow were tonight being quizzed over the way
the plane was prepared for its flight, she said. “Investigators are
questioning employees of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport who
were engaged to prepare the plane for the flight.
“A similar inspection is conducted at the airport’s air traffic control
service.” State television aired a video of the crash site, showing
parts of the wreckage in the snow. The plane crash left a crater
more than 8ft deep and 60ft in diameter, but debris was said to be
scattered over more than a half-mile radius.
“I heard a noise… like a roar. It was quite unusual,’ an eyewitness
called Alexey said. You know, it sounds very strange when no one
is around, when you hear such an unusual roar… I put on my
shoes and rushed outside.
“And I saw…an explosion. So big, there was such a cloud.
Mushroom-shaped, like a nuclear explosion in miniature. The
fragments were flying, burning. One of them was flew right onto
me.’
Meanwhile, a couple have revealed how they cheated death after
deciding to change their tickets at the last minute because a new
car wasn’t ready.
Businessman Maxim Kolomeytsev, who turned 35 yesterday, and
his girlfriend Nazezha, 25, had tickets for the doomed flight.
“I lost 10,000 roubles (£125) on making the change, but we’ve got
our lives,” he said. “I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my
relatives in Orsk,” he said. But he also intended to buy himself a
car in his home city to mark his 35th birthday.
He said: “The car was delayed. The showroom said it wasn’t
ready. We had bought the tickets for me and my girlfriend. But
when I found out the car was not ready I delayed the trip by a
week.”

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