A Russian military plane carrying 91 people has crashed into the Black Sea, Russian media reported, citing Russian Defense Ministry.
The plane, called Tu-154, lost contact with after taking off from the resort of Sochi at 05:20 (02:20 GMT). It was completely disappeared from radar.
Alexandrov, the famous Russian military band was also on board. The famed band was going to Syria for a concert at the Russian air base.
The defense ministry said that the plane, which originated in Moscow and landed at Adler airport in Sochi for refueling, disappeared over the Black Sea after a 20-minute flight.
Official say that the flight was carrying 83 passengers and eight crew members. The passengers include service personnel, members of the military band, and nine journalists.
The plane’s destination was Latakia in Syria.
Emergency services responded quickly and fragments of the plane were found, according to the defense ministry.
“Fragments of the Tu-154 plane of the Russian defense ministry were found 1.5km (one mile) from the Black Sea coast of the city of Sochi at a depth of 50 to 70 meters,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the report, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was coordinating the rescue efforts and President Vladimir Putin has been informed about the situation.
There are no reports about survivors, and one body was found 6km off the coast of Sochi. Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said the “body of a person killed as a result the crash… was found 6km off the coast of Sochi “.
Source: Bloomberg, BBC