Four hours after the failed launch, Russian media reported that the crash site had been located in the heavily wooded area of the Choisky District in the Tuva Republic, around 40 kilometers from the nearest residential site. The site was reportedly secured, but the arrival of space officials to this remote area by a helicopter was hampered by bad weather.
On the morning of December 2, the RIA Novosti news agency reported that the impact site had been located from 60 to 70 kilometers west of town of Kyzyl in the Tuva Region. One piece of debris was reported 120 kilometers west of Kyzyl.
On December 3, residents in the Ulug-Khemsky District found a 0.9-meter tank attributed to the Progress MS-04 in the settlement of Tos-Tevek, 15 kilometers from the village of Eilig-Khem.
According to an unconfirmed report on the online forum of the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine, at the time of the accident, the rocket's flight control system issued the so-called AVD command, which stands for the "Emergency Engine Cutoff." The AVD command was reportedly triggered during an interval between L+382.31 and 382.37 seconds by an unacceptable deviation of the vehicle from its prescribed trajectory, which was so severe that it had caused the rocket's gyroscopic control system to stall. Moreover, the cargo ship was apparently sheared off from the stage shortly thereafter in a violent breakup, followed by a some sort of impact between the two vehicles.
Overall, this account resembled the circumstances leading to the loss of the Progress M-27M spacecraft in April 2015.