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Russian Defense Ministry sends 4 ships, 5 helicopters to Tu-154 crash site

December 25, 2016, 11:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Tu-154 plane of the Russian Defense Ministry crashed earlier with 92 onboard

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© Valery Matytsin/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has sent four ships and five helicopters to the site of the Tu-154 plane crash off the Black Sea coast near Sochi, the ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.

"Four ships, five helicopters and drones are currently involved in the search," Konashenkov said.

"Fragments of the Tu-154 plane have been found at a depth of 70 meters some 1.5 kilometers from the coast of Sochi," he added.

Meanwhile, the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS it will send an Il-76 plane with rescuers and divers.

The Tu-154 plane of the Defense Ministry disappeared from radars at 05.40 a.m. Moscow time (02.40 a.m. GMT) shortly after taking off from Sochi. There were 92 people onboard the plane, including journalists, servicemen and musicians of the famous Alexandrov ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian armed forces, who flew to congratulate the air group of Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria with the New Year. Executive Director of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity fund Elizaveta Glinka, known as Dr. Liza, was also onboard.

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