Russian divers on Monday found the main body of the military plane that crashed in the Black Sea with 92 people on board, an official told Russian news agencies.
“Divers... have found the fuselage of the plane that crashed yesterday in the Black Sea,” agencies quoted a members of the emergency ministry’s Sochi-based search and rescue team as saying.
The ministry said in a statement Monday that divers this afternoon found several fragments of the plane one mile away from the shore and 25 metres (82 feet) under the sea. It says some of the debris has been recovered, and the divers are going back into the water to search for more.
All 84 passengers and eight crew members on the Russian military’s Tu-154 plane are believed to have died when it crashed two minutes after taking off from Russia’s Sochi on Sunday. The passengers included dozens of singers in Russia’s world-famous military choir.
The plane, which originated from Moscow’s military airport Chkalovsky and stopped in Sochi for refueling, was taking the defense ministry’s choir, the Alexandrov Ensemble, to perform at a New Year’s concert at the Russian air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.
The Tu-154 is a Soviet-built three-engine airliner designed in the late 1960s. More than 1,000 have been built, and they have been used extensively in Russia and worldwide. The plane that crashed Sunday was built in 1983, and underwent factory check-ups and maintenance in 2014, the defence ministry said.