SEARCH FOR BODIES AFTER RUSSIAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES | Rescue teams are currently searching the Black Sea for bodies after a Russian military plane with 92 people on board crashed.
The TU-154 plane had taken off from the Adler Airport near the Black Sea city early on Sunday morning.The plane was headed to a Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria, where the country has a large military presence for a concert ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The plane was carrying 84 passengers and eight crew members, agencies quoted the ministry as saying.Nine Russian reporters were among the passengers, agencies said.
The renowned Alexandrov Ensemble, the Russian army’s official choir, was on board the plane.Fragments of the plane have already been found at a depth of 50-70 metres at a distance of around 1.5 kilometres from the Russian coast, agencies reported
Russia’s RIA news agency, citing an unidentified security source, said preliminary data indicated that the plane had crashed because of a technical malfunction or a pilot error.
The Interfax news agency cited an unnamed source as saying the plane had not sent an SOS signal.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Sunday it was too early to say what had caused the crash.President Vladimir Putin was being kept informed of latest developments, Peskov added.
Russia’s Defence Ministry regularly flies musicians into Syria to put on concerts for military personnel.The base they were heading for, Hmeymim, is in Latakia province. It is from there that Russia flies air strikes against Syrian rebels.
Earlier in December, another Russian Defence Ministry crashed in Siberia with 39 people on board as it tried to make an emergency landing near a Soviet-era military base.
Nobody was been killed in that incident, though 32 people were airlifted to hospital.