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An-148 flights may be suspended - Russian transport minister

February 11, 22:36 updated at: February 11, 22:51 UTC+3

Such decision may be taken by the companies executive upon agreement with Rosaviatsiya and Rostransnadzor

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MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/.  Russia’s transport ministry may take a decision to suspend An-148 flights upon agreement with the Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) and transport watchdog (Rostransdandzor), Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said on Sunday.

"Such decision may be taken by the companies executive upon agreement with Rosaviatsiya and Rostransnadzor," he told journalists when asked about possible suspension of flights of such aircraft following Sunday’s An-148 passenger plane crash near Moscow.

According to Sokolov, the key task of the government commission today is to work with the relatives of the crash victims. "A team of psychologists and medics will be sent to the Orenburg region tomorrow to work with the relatives. Apart from that, representatives from the insurance company have been invited to settle insurance payment issues," he said.

Radio contact with an An-148 passenger plane of the Saratov Airlines (flight 730 from Moscow to Orsk, Orenburg region) that took off from the Domodedovo airport at 14:24 Moscow time on Sunday was lost four minutes after the takeoff. Fragments of the plane were found near the village of Stepanovskoye in Moscow region’s Ramensky district. There were 65 passengers and six members of the crew onboard the plane. According to latest data, no one has survived.

As of now, two bodies and one flight recorder have been recovered from the crash site.

A criminal case on charges of violations of flight safety and aircraft operation rules entailing the death of two or more people has been opened.

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