"According to the order of [Russia’s Investigative Committee’s Chairman] Alexander Bastrykin, the criminal case was transmitted for further investigation to the Investigative Committee’s central apparatus," Petrenko said.
A group of Russian investigators departed to the crash site, according to Petrenko.
Earlier in the day, a Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 plane heading from Moscow to Syria with 92 people on board disappeared from radar shortly after refueling in the Russian southern city of Adler, near Sochi. Fragments of the plane were discovered 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the sea shore of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters (164-184 feet).
Most of the passengers were members of the famous army choir of the Russian armed forces, the Alexandrov Ensemble, who were traveling from Moscow to Hmeymim airbase in Syria to take part in a New Year concert.