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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cargo Plane Crashes, Killing 7

ReutersFirefighters standing near the smoking debris of the An-12 cargo plane that crashed early Sunday, killing all on board.
A cargo plane built in 1964 crashed Sunday, minutes after taking off from Domodedovo Airport, killing all seven crew members on board, officials said.

The An-12 four-engine turboprop belonging to the private Atran carrier went down at 4:22 a.m., just after taking off from southeast of Moscow, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said.

The plane slammed into a field, scattering debris over a wide area. There were no injuries on the ground, Beltsov said. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

Rescue teams have recovered both of the plane's cockpit recorders, vital to investigators determining the cause of the crash, Beltsov said.

The plane, bound for Bratsk, in eastern Siberia, was carrying 9 tons of cargo, well below the 20-ton maximum, Beltsov said.

Overloading has caused many crashes of cargo planes in Russia, and experts say many carriers have routinely forged flight documents to get more cargo on board, neglecting safety.

The An-12 was designed in the 1950s and produced in large quantities for both military and civilian transport. More than 100 such planes are still in service in Russia and other countries.

The plane was to be discarded later this year, aviation authorities told RIA-Novosti.

n On Saturday, a small private helicopter crashed in the Ural Mountains region of Udmurtia, killing all five people on board, Beltsov said.

Also on Saturday, a Boeing 757 of Russia's private VIM-Avia carrier bound for Naples, Italy, had to return to Moscow after a crack was discovered in its windscreen, the Interfax news agency reported. It landed safely.