Debris from a missing Russian military aircraft with 91 people on board was found in the Black Sea after it went off the radar soon after taking off from Sochi on Sunday. A statement from the Russian Defence Ministry said 83 passengers and eight crew members were on the flight. President Vladimir Putin has ordered an investigation into the mishap.
“The fragments of the fuselage of the Tu-154 plane of Russia’s Defense Ministry have been found 1.5 km from the Black Sea coast of Sochi at the depth of 50-70 meters,” the ministry said. There were no signs of any survivors at the crash site, according to reports.
The Tu-154 plane did not check in with air traffic control at its scheduled time of 5.40 am (local), after taking off at 5.20 am. Search and rescue operations began soon after the flight vanished from the radar. The plane was flying over the Black Sea when it disappeared.
The flight, which was classified as not being civilian, was heading to Latakia, Syria. Those on board included journalists, military staff, musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble, and an official army choir of the Russian armed forces.