Plane carrying 71 people crashes near Moscow

President Nazarbayev condoles with Vladimir Putin over passenger plane crash

"The scatter of fragments of the aircraft and bodies of dead passengers occupies a large territory; the radius is not less than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles)", said Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation. A rescue team has been sent to the scene.

Instead, Abbas will meet with Putin in Moscow in the latter part of Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies. The plane reportedly belonged to Saratov Airlines, a Russian commercial carrier. Officials said all of the passengers aboard are believed to have been residents of the Urals.

State broadcaster Russia Today have since uploaded footage from the crash site to YouTube, which appears to show pieces of the wreckage in a snow covered field. Witnesses reported seeing a falling airplane in flames, Interfax said.

A woman from a nearby village said: "I felt a shock wave. the windows shook".

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A light aircraft crashed in November in Russia's far east, killing six people on board. Some used snowmobiles and drones to assess the area.

The Russian transport minister was on his way to the crash site, agencies reported. Investigators will examine all possible causes, including weather conditions, human factors and technical conditions of the plane, the committee said in the statement on its website.

"Deepest condolences on the tragic loss of life in today's air crash in Moscow". The Ukraine-designed regional plane was built in 2010, it said.

An investigation has been opened.

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