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Seven Killed In Russian Cargo Plane Crash

Firefighters near the debris of the An-12 plane (ITAR-TASS) July 29, 2007 -- A 43-year-old Russian cargo plane has crashed minutes after taking off from a Moscow airport, killing all seven crew on board.

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said the An-12 four-engine turboprop belonging to the private Atran carrier went down early today, immediately after taking off from the Domodedovo airport southeast of Moscow.

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

Rescue teams have recovered both of the plane's cockpit recorders, which are vital for investigators to determine the reason behind the crash.

Beltsov said the plane was carrying 9 tons of cargo, well below its maximum payload of 20 tons.

It was bound for Bratsk, in eastern Siberia.