Russian military plane with 92 on board crashes en route to SyriaLIVE UPDATES
- 18:53 GMT
The body of another crash victim has been lifted to the surface, Konashenkov said, without revealing any details about the person’s identity. The Defense Ministry spokesman added that the identities of the deceased won’t be made public unless their relatives give permission.
- 18:44 GMT
A total of 45 ships, 15 underwater vehicles, 12 planes, five helicopters and 192 divers are currently involved in the search operation, said the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Maj. General Igor Konashenkov.
- 18:41 GMT
A special floatable sea crane able to lift heavy parts of the plane’s wreckage has joined the rescue services in the Black Sea, the Russian military announced.
- 18:29 GMT
Divers have located more pieces of the plane’s wreckage, including the tail fin with pieces of the engine, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
- 17:43 GMT
Emergency services have pinpointed three parts of the fuselage of the ill-fated plane and have lifted two of them to the surface, according to RIA Novosti, citing a source. "As of 19:00 Moscow time [16:00 GMT] three parts of the plane’s fuselage were discovered 1.8km away from the coast. Two parts have been lifted to the surface,” the source said.
- 17:26 GMT
Rescue workers have recovered the body of the plane’s captain, TASS reports, citing a security source. "A body was discovered while lifting large parts of the fuselage. According to the ribbons on the uniform, it was concluded that this was the plane’s captain, Roman Volkov,” the source said.
- 12:53 GMT
The inspection of the surface area has ended, and in seven sectors out of 15 the seabed was searched, the ministry’s statement read. The wreckage scattering radius is about 500 meters, it added.
- 12:53 GMT
Divers have recovered two elements of plane control mechanism, and their serial numbers showed they were from the crashed Tu-154, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
- 12:50 GMT
The head of the extra-risk operations’ center, Lieutenant-Colonel Pyotr Gritsenko, explained to Ruptly how his team works at the crash area.“Our group is now carrying our search efforts using a side-scanning sonar that allows to see the seabed contour, as well as objects in the water. Also on our boat are rescue workers who are monitoring the sea surface in search of debris and personal belongings [of passengers].”
- 26 December 201612:16 GMT
Contrary to earlier reports, divers have found large fragments of the plane but not the fuselage, the Russian Emergencies Ministry has stated.
- 12:16 GMT
Part of the fragments have already been lifted up to the surface, and divers are heading to the seabed again now, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.
- 12:00 GMT
- 11:55 GMT
The fuselage of the Tu-154 plane that crashed on Sunday has reportedly been discovered at a depth of 27 meters (89 feet), just over 1.5 kilometers (about one mile) from the shore, Russian news agencies report, citing a local search and rescue team representative.
- 11:20 GMT
Witnesses of the Tu-154 crash have been found and video footage of the incident has emerged, the FSB said. The investigative team is now working with the new data, the statement added.
- 11:18 GMT
There was no military or double-purpose cargo on the Tu-154, nor were there any pyrotechnical devices, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has said."According to the Russian Defense Ministry's data, 84 passengers and eight crew members were on board, with the majority of them part of the military. Also, there was the passengers' luggage and 150kg of cargo consisting of food and medical supplies," the statement read.
- 11:14 GMT
Speculation that the Tu-154 crash could have been a terrorist act is not a priority for investigators, the Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists.“The theory of the terrorist act isn't on top at all,” Peskov noted, adding that “all theories are being reviewed, so it's too early to confirm anything.”
- 10:20 GMT
- 09:42 GMT
Sochi residents took to the sea in search of Tu-154 survivors following the crash, the governor of Krasnodar Region, Veniamin Kondratyev, told Rossiya-24 TV channel.“As soon as the news about the crash emerged, locals started to put out to sea in boats in an attempt to save the passengers. It’s typical of Russians, to try to save their compatriots,” he said.
- 09:16 GMT
The search operation has been stepped up, with more ships, divers, and aircraft arriving on the scene. Forty-five vessels and five helicopters, as well as drones, are now involved in the search operation, according to the latest information from the Russian Defense Ministry.
- 26 December 201609:10 GMT
The bodies of most passengers could still be inside the plane underwater, which is why they still haven't been recovered, the governor of the Krasnodar Region, Veniamin Kondratyev, told Rossiya-24 TV channel.“People are asking why things and bodies haven't emerged on the surface... Maybe the plane didn't undergo such severe damage, and a lot of bodies are in the plane. And those we recovered were sitting near the breakup of the aircraft,” the official said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
- 07:58 GMT
Russia is observing a nationwide day of mourning for the victims of the Tu-154 crash today.
- 06:27 GMT
Part of debris and remains may have been carried outside of Russia by the current, and now be in the Republic of Abkhazia.“I would ask everyone involved in the search and rescue operation to expand the search zone. I’ve contacted the president of Abkhazia, the country’s premier, because the current goes across the border. We suppose that part of the debris and remains could have crossed that border,” Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said, as cited by Interfax.
- 06:15 GMT
The search zone around the crash site has been expanded, Russia’s Emergency Ministry said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.
- 06:14 GMT
The Russian Defense Ministry hopes to locate the plane in the Black Sea on Monday, Air Force commander Bondarev said at a press conference.
- 05:53 GMT
The first plane transporting the victims’ remains has arrived safely in Moscow at Chkalovsky airport just outside the Russian capital, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has said.
- 05:49 GMT
A plane carrying 10 bodies from the Tu-154 crash has left for Moscow, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said, as cited by TASS.“An IL-76 plane carrying 10 recovered bodies and 86 body fragments has flown to Moscow, where the identification and DNA testing will be conducted” by Ministry of Defense specialists, the statement from the Defense Ministry’s press service read.
- 05:45 GMT
Some 3,500 people working in three shifts are involved in the rescue operations in the area of the Tu-154 plane crash in Sochi.“Search operations in the area of the Tu-154 crash did not stop for a minute during the night,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that seven additional ships have joined the ongoing rescue operations, including a hydrographic ship equipped with advanced sonar equipment capable of detecting plane fragments, as well as diving and patrol boats manned by diving experts and equipped with high-power searchlights.
- 05:15 GMT
Uzbekistan’s president, Savkat Mirziev, sent his condolences to Putin, according to Interfax.“I’ve heard the news on multiple casualties in the Tu-154 crash with the deepest of dolor. Accept my deepest condolences, and pass words of sympathy to relatives and friends of the victims,” President Mirziev said in the statement.
- 04:41 GMT
China’s leader Xi Jinping has sent an official telegram to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express his condolences about the Tu-154 crash, CCTV reported.“I, on behalf of China’s government and people, express my deepest sympathy in the wake of this tragic event. I express the deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” Xi Jinping wrote.
- 26 December 201603:40 GMT
Memorial services for the victims of the crash took place in all churches across the Sakhalin region on Monday afternoon, RIA Novosti reported.“A tragedy happened, people died. Praying for the victims, who, as the Scripture reads “lay down one’s life for one’s friends” is the Church’s duty. The Lord claimed them, while they were on the way to support peacemakers. Peacemaking constitutes both dangers, deaths, but also God’s mercy for such people, who support those, who suffer,” Tikhon, Archbishop of Southern Sakhalin and Kuril Islands said.
- 03:30 GMT
Search and rescue operations in the plane crash zone are continuing overnight, according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s press service. More than 3,000 personnel and 200 pieces of equipment are involved in the operation. Powerful ship-mounted spotlights and light towers are illuminating the water surface for some 80 meters around.Approximately 30 ships are participating in the operation and more than 100 square kilometers of the sea area has already been searched. A group of seven planes, 12 helicopters and 20 UAVs has inspected an area of 240 square kilometers. Ground search groups have observed some 10km of the shoreline.Divers have been working in the area from which plane debris was uncovered. Deep diving equipment and robotic complexes are also being used in the operation, the ministry’s statement added.
- 03:10 GMT
- 00:38 GMT
Serbia’s government is considering naming a park in Belgrade in honor of the Tu-154 crash victims, according to Serbian Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljevic.“Vukosavljevic expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased ensemble artists and admirers of their talent and proposed naming the venue in question ‘Aveksandrov Choir Park.’ The idea was supported by Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic,” a government statement reads.
- 00:28 GMT
The head of the Alexandrov Ensemble, Lieutenant General Valeriy Khalilov, will be put forward for a posthumous decoration “For Merit to the Chechen Republic,” according to Kadyrov.“The tragic deaths of the Alexandrov Ensemble artists are a bitter loss for Russia. The head of the ensemble, Lieutenant General Valeriy Khalilov, died along with the artists. The ensemble has worldwide fame. It has performed in many countries for decades,” Kadyrov wrote on Instagram.
- 00:19 GMT
- 00:15 GMT
A children's clinic in Grozny has been named after humanitarian activist Elizaveta Glinka, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, wrote on Instagram.“Dr. Liza devoted herself to the most noble cause – saving children. She had a brilliant medical training and could have worked in some clinic, but she chose the hard path of helping those, who could not get help from elsewhere,” Kadyrov wrote.
- 25 December 2016