Russian Christmas plane crash: no survivors at crash site
Published 7:09 am Sunday, December 25, 2016
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a Russian aircraft with 92 people on board en route to Russia’s air base in Syria (all times local):
The Russian Defense Ministry says rescuers are seeing no sign of any survivors of the crash of a Russian plane into the Black Sea.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov says that “no survivors are seen” at the crash site about 1.5 kilometers (less than a mile) from the shore.
The Tu-154 passenger plane with 92 people aboard plummeted into the sea two minutes after taking off from the city of Sochi. The plane belonging to the Russian Defense Ministry was heading to Syria, carrying members of the world-famous Russian army choir to a New Year concert at the Russian military base. The cause of the crash isn’t immediately known.
Rescuers already have recovered several bodies, and dozens of ships, drones and divers are looking for more.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a nationwide day of mourning for victims of the crash of a Russian plane that plunged into the sea with 92 people aboard.
There appeared to be no survivors after the Tu-154 passenger plane operated by the Russian Defense Ministry crashed into the Black Sea Sunday minutes after taking off from Sochi. The jet was carrying members of the world-famous Russian army choir to a New Year concert at the Russian military base in Syria. The cause of the crash isn’t immediately known.
Putin, speaking in televised remarks, announced there will be a day of mourning on Monday.
He says the government will “conduct a thorough investigation into the reasons and do everything to support the victims’ families.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry says a widely revered Russian charity doctor was on board a Russian plane headed to Syria that crashed into the Black Sea shortly after takeoff.
Yelizaveta Glinka, known as Doctor Liza in Russia, has won broad acclaim for charity work that included missions to the war zone in eastern Ukraine.
Her foundation, Spravedlivaya Pomoshch, or Just Help, says she was accompanying a shipment of medicines for a hospital in Syria.
The Tu-154 that belonged to the Russian Defense Minister crashed into the sea Sunday two minutes after taking off from the resort of Sochi. It was also carrying members of the Alexandrov Ensemble to a holiday concert at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria.
There is no indication anyone survived the crash.
A Russian official says the crash of a Russian military passenger plane into the Black Sea could have been caused by a technical malfunction or a crew error, but he believes it could not have been terrorism because the plane was operated by the military.
Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense affairs committee at the upper house of Russian parliament, says in remarks carried by the state news agency RIA Novosti that he “totally excludes” terrorism as a possible cause of the crash.
The plane was en route to Russia’s air base in Syria with 92 people on board when it crashed shortly after taking off from the resort town of Sochi. At least one body has been found and there is no word on whether anyone survived.
The Defense Ministry has released a list of the passengers. They include 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, among them its leader, Valery Khalilov. The Alexandrov Ensemble is the official choir of the Russian military, and it also includes a band and a dancing company.
The Russian Defense Ministry says rescuers have found fragments of the Tu-154 plane that was carrying 91 people en route to the Russian military base in Syria.
The ministry said earlier that the plane disappeared from radars shortly after takeoff from the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sunday. It carried eight crew and 83 passengers, including members of the world-famous Alexandrov military choir.
The ministry says rescue teams found fragments of the plane at a distance of about 1.5 kilometers (less than a mile) from shore at a depth of 50-70 meters.