Tramping through snowy fields outside Moscow, emergency workers found both flight data recorders from a crashed Russian airliner on Monday as they searched for debris and the remains of the 71 passengers and crew who died. The An-148 twin-engine regional jet bound for Orsk in the southern Urals went down minutes after taking off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport Sunday afternoon. All 65 passengers and 6 crew on board were killed. Russian investigators quickly ruled out a terror attack but won't speculate on possible reasons for the crash, per the AP. Still the crash has re-ignited questions about the An-148, since the model's safety record is spotty, with one previous crash and a series of major incidents in which pilots struggled to land safely.
It was developed by Ukraine's Antonov company in the early 2000s. About 40 were built, most of them in Russia, which manufactured the plane under license. The An-148 once was touted as an example of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation, but it fell into trouble as relations between the two neighbors unraveled following Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. Russia's premier state investigative agency said the plane was intact and there had been no fire on board before it hit the ground. The plane's fuel tanks exploded on impact, scattering debris across 74 acres in deep snow, according to the Emergency Ministry, which used drones to direct the search. Officials said the search for victims' remains will take a week. The 65 passengers ranged in age from 5 to 79. The AP has more on the An-148 and its history of recent failures.
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