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Over 4,500 pieces of wreckage found at jet crash site outside Moscow

February 16, 0:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The search zone is 50 hectares

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An-148 wreckage at the crash site

An-148 wreckage at the crash site

© Natalya Dmitrak/TASS

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. More than 4,500 pieces of wreckage have been found at the site where a Russian Antonov-148 passenger jet crashed on Sunday minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, sources from the operation headquarters at the site told TASS on Thursday.

"The search zone is 50 hectares, it has not been expanded further. Rescuers have found 389 plane fragments during the day, while all in all more than 4,500 pieces of wreckage have been found since the work began," the source added. He said all of them have been delivered to the Gromov Flight Research Institute near Moscow, where fragments of the plane are added in their appropriate places to the layout outlined in a special area.

Search continues at the site. Rescuers are minutely examining the whole area, as part of the fragments can be found under snow and in the earth.

The Moscow region office of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations told TASS that the main efforts are concentrated on examining new sections and on gathering the wreckage and passenger’s personal belongings. "Drones, snowmobiles as well as specialized off-road rescue hardware, cranes, excavators, bulldozers, search and soil monitoring instruments are actively used in the search operation," the emergencies ministry said.

Work continues round-the-clock with rescuers working in shifts. Tents equipped with all necessary facilities were been pitched and field kitchens are open at the site, the source said.

On February 11, an Antonov An-148 passenger aircraft, operated by Saratov Airlines, which was en route to the town of Orsk, crashed several minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, killing all 71 people aboard. The aircraft’s wreckage was found near the Stepanovskoye settlement in the Moscow Region.

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