92 killed As Russian Military Plane Crashes In black Sea

Flowers laid by sympathizers at the home of the music director in Moscow
Flowers laid by sympathizers at the home of the music director in Moscow

A Russian military plane with 92 people on board has crashed into the Black Sea, Russia’s defence ministry says.

The plane disappeared from radar two minutes after taking off from Sochi heading for Latakia in Syria.

Debris and several bodies have been found, with no reports of survivors.

The Tu-154 was carrying soldiers, reporters and 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble who were to perform for Russian troops.

President Vladimir Putin has said Monday will be a day of national mourning.

The flight had originated in Moscow and landed at Adler airport in Sochi for refuelling.

The defence ministry said in a statement: “Fragments of the Tu-154 plane of the Russian defence ministry were found 1.5 kilometers from the Black Sea coast of the city of Sochi at a depth of 50 to 70 meters.”

Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov said: “No survivors have been spotted.

Alexandrov Ensemble is the official choir of the Russian armed forces. It was founded in 1928 during the Soviet era.

The group also includes an orchestra and dancers. It takes its name from its first director, Alexander Alexandrov, who wrote the music to the national anthem of the Soviet Union.

An audio recording played on Russian media and said to be of the final conversation between air traffic controllers and the plane reveals no sign of any difficulties being faced by the crew.



    Voices remain calm until the plane disappears and the controllers try in vain to re-establish contact.

    Reports from the area said flying conditions were favourable.

    Konashenkov said the plane was last serviced in September and had undergone more substantial repairs in December 2014. It had an “experienced” pilot.

    President Putin has ordered a state commission to look into the crash and sent his condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

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