No sign of survivors in crash of Russian military plane with 93 aboard

MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry said that “no survivors are seen” from the Tu-154 military plane that crashed Sunday in the Black Sea off the coast of Sochi.

The plane, which was carrying 93 people, including a renowned choir to perform for the holidays at a Russian airbase in Syria, crashed shortly after takeoff, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

By Sunday evening, at least 10 bodies had been recovered from the crash site, with major debris found about a mile from the coast, Konashenkov said. About 3,000 people are participating in the search operation, which has spread over 6 square miles.

The Russian military’s most prominent choir, the Alexandrov Ensemble, was travelling to Syria’s coastal region of Latakia to perform at the Khmeimim airbase, Russia’s main base of operations for its military campaign in the Syrian civil war.

The plane was carrying more than 60 musicians, including the choir’s conductor, Lt. Gen. Valery Khalilov, and nine journalists, according to a list published on the Defense Ministry’s website.

Russian federal investigators opened a criminal case on the crash on charges of disobeying aviation rules, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

Designed in the late 1960s and with more than a thousand produced, Tu-154s were one of the main airliners of the Soviet Union and its successor states for decades until they began to be phased out in recent years.

The planes have been involved in almost a dozen major crashes since 2000, killing more than 800 people, including Poland’s then-president Lech Kaczynski near the Russian city of Smolensk in 2010.World

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

Lyft, owner of the Bay Wheels bikeshare program, stands to receive more than $300,000 in a legal settlement with The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors to weigh $330,000 settlement with Lyft over bikeshare dispute

If approved, deal would resolve an 18-month long legal battle over San Francisco’s e-bike market

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Smoking cannabis. (Shutterstock)
Supes ban tobacco smoking in apartments but exempt cannabis

San Francisco banned smoking and vaping of tobacco in apartments Tuesday night,… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases.<ins> (Examiner screenshot)</ins>
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Most Read