Russian Investigative Committee: An-148 plane exploded after hitting ground
Investigators have concluded that the Antonov An-148 aircraft that had crashed outside Moscow did not break up in mid-air, but rather the explosion occurred when the plane hit the ground, the Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said.
"It has been established that the aircraft was intact at the time of its descent and there was no combustion. The explosion occurred when the plane hit the ground," the spokesperson said.
Both flight recorders have been found at the Antonov An-148 crash site in the Moscow region, a source in the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) also said.
"Both the parameter and voice recorders have been located," the source said, adding that the flight recorders are severely damaged but decoding is presumably possible.
"They are both damaged," the source said, adding that it was presumably possible to decode them. The recorders will be delivered to the laboratory shortly.
"The flight recorders will be open as soon as they are delivered, so tonight it will be possible to say for sure if they can be decoded," TASS cited the source as saying.
A criminal case has been launched under Article 263.3 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of security requirements while using aircraft, resulting in the death of two and more persons through negligence).
On February 11, the Antonov An-148 passenger plane operated by Saratov Airlines that departed from Domodedovo airport vanished from radars a few minutes after take-off. Fragments of the plane were found near the village of Stepanovskoye in the Moscow Region’s Ramensky district. There were 65 passengers and six crew members onboard the passenger jet. There were no survivors. According to latest updates, rescue workers have found more than 300 plane’s fragments at the crash site.