A Russian military jet with at least 91 people on board disappeared from radar on Sunday. According to the BBC, the Russian plane disappeared from the radar just a minutes after taking off from Sochi, a Russian city on the Black Sea. AFP reported that debris from missing Russian military plane was found in Black Sea.
Russia Today reports that there were 83 passengers on board the missing flight and eight crew members. The defence ministry told RT that the plane failed to check-in with control tower at 5.40 am (Moscow time). RT quoted a source in the ministry as saying: "According to preliminary data, the missing Tu-154 arrived in Sochi from Chkalovsky airfield near Moscow for refueling. It is likely that it crashed in the mountainous area of the Krasnodar region."
PTI reported that 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. The people on-board included journalists, military personnel, musicians, the source said.
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.
Times Now reported that the plane was heading to Latakia in Syria. The BBC report quotes sources at the emergency ministry saying that the missing aircraft is a Tu-154. The Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range airliner produced by Russian aerospace and defence company Tupolev. It is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in use and widely used in extreme Arctic conditions.
The Tu-154 aircraft is not a civilian one and was en route to the Syrian port city of Latakia, an Emergency Ministry source told Sputnik News Agency. It lost contact with land over the Black Sea.
"The jet disappeared from radars about 20 minutes after takeoff, it departed (from Sochi) at 5.20 am, and the contact was lost at about 5.40 am.," he said.
Moscow has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria since September 2015 in support of long-time ally Bashar al-Assad.
Updated Date: Dec 25, 2016 11:52:33 IST