Debris from missing Russian military plane found in Black Sea

Debris from missing Russian military plane found in Black Sea

MOSCOW - Debris from a Russian military plane carrying 91 people that had disappeared from radars has been found in the Black Sea, local news agencies quoted the defence ministry as saying Sunday.

File picture shows a Russian Tupolev Tu-154 (L), similar to one that has been found in the Black Sea after going missing from radar with 91 aboard, flying alongside Su-34 bombers

"Fragments of the Tu-154 plane of the Russian defence ministry were found 1.5 kilometres from the Black Sea coast of the city of Sochi at a depth of 50 to 70 metres," the ministry said.

The plane had departed at 5:40 am local time (0240 GMT) from Adler, south of the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, and was conducting a routine flight to Russia's Hmeimim airbase outside the coastal Syrian city of Latakia, the ministry said.

The ministry said the plane was carrying Russian servicemen as well as members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the army's official musical group, who were headed to Syria to participate in New Year celebrations at the base.

There were nine members of the media on board, the ministry said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies that President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the situation and was being kept abreast of the search operations.

Moscow has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015 in support of long-time ally Bashar al-Assad.

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