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After Russian Plane Crash Killed 71, Authorities Search for Clues Among the Debris

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Both data recorders have been recovered.

Jess McHugh
February 12, 2018

Russian investigative teams Monday recovered both data recorders from the site of a fatal plane crash.

The recorders, containing both flight data and cockpit conversations, could offer insight into what caused Saratov Airlines Flight 703 to crash within minutes of taking off from Domodedovo Airport, killing all 71 people onboard.

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Search teams were still combing the site of the crash both for debris from the plane that could offer clues to its fate as well as remains from the 65 passengers and 6 crew. The search for the remains of the victims, aged 5-79, will take at least a week, Associated Press reported, citing the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The flight was en route to Orsk, near Kazakhstan, when the plane lost contact with air traffic control, crashing in a field near Moscow within minutes of takeoff. Russian authorities have ruled out terrorism as a possible cause, and investigators are considering weather, human error, or a technical malfunction as potential causes, Russia’s official news agency TASS reported.

Heavy snow and wintry conditions have complicated the recovery mission, and debris was spread over a wide area in the field. Andrei Kulakov, head of the Ramenskoye District, told one Russian broadcaster that the search teams were requesting more heavy duty equipment.

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