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First Body Found 6 Km From Sochi Coastline Following Tu-154 Crash in Black Sea

© Sputnik / Nina Zotina / Go to the photo bankA Russian military plane crashed in the Black Sea
A Russian military plane crashed in the Black Sea - Sputnik International
The first body has been found 6 km from Sochi coastline following the crash of a Russian Tu-154 airplane in the Black Sea, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday.

"A body of a person who died in Russia's Defense Ministry's Tu-154 airplane crash has been found 6 km away from Sochi coastline. The body has been lifted on board of the rescue vehicle," Konashenkov said.

A Russian military plane crashed in the Black Sea - Sputnik International
Latest Updates on Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 Aircraft Crash in Black Sea
Konashenkov said earlier on Sunday that a total of 92 people were on board of Tu-154 that crashed in the Black Sea.

Russia's missing TU-154 aircraft fell into the Black Sea as its fragments were discovered 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the sea shore of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters (164-184 feet), the Russian Defense Ministry's press service said Sunday.

"Fragments of the Russian Defense Ministry's TU-154 aircraft were discovered in 1.5 kilometers from the Black Sea shore of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters," the ministry said.

Currently, one Ka-32 helicopter and seven marine vessels are conducting a search at the site of the crash.

The plane departed from Sochi at 5.20am local time on Sunday, or at 9.20pm EST. It disappeared from radars about 20 minutes after takeoff.

Preliminary data shows that the disappeared plane was heading to Syria's Hmeimim airbase. According to the source, the possible reasons for the alleged crash could be technical malfunction or pilot error.

The version of a terror attack has been ruled out, the chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov said.

Soon after the news came out, Russia's Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the crash of Tu-154 military aircraft in the Black Sea.

"A criminal case into the Tu-154 crash was initiated, according to Article 351 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, ‘Failure to comply with the rules of flight security and preparation,'" Svetlana Petrenko said.

There were 64 musicians from the choir of the Russian armed forces, the Alexandrov Ensemble, their director, Valery Khalilov, and nine journalists on board of the aircraft en route to Hmeimim airbase in Syria for a New Year concert.

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