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Russian crash plane ‘blew up on impact’

Grim search: Emergency teams at site of downed jet. They have found ‘hundreds’ of body parts PICTURE: REUTERS

A RUSSIAN airliner that crashed outside Moscow killing all 71 people on board was ‘intact’ when it hit the ground, state investigators said yesterday.

The fuel tanks exploded on impact, scattering debris across 70 acres of snow, they added.

Emergency teams have found ‘hundreds’ of body parts as they combed fields for the remains of the 65 passengers and six crew. The youngest was five years old.

Saratov Airlines said the Antonov An-148 jet had received proper maintenance and passed all necessary checks before the internal flight to Orsk.

It crashed shortly after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Sunday afternoon. Terrorism is not believed to be the cause.