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Russian Defense Ministry 'doing utmost' to investigate causes of Tu-154 plane crash

December 27, 2016, 12:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The military Tu-154 crashed on a Sunday morning shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi en route to Syria

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© Artur Lebedev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry is making every effort to search for the bodies of victims in the Tu-154 plane crash over the Black Sea and investigate the tragedy, the ministry’s head Sergey Shoigu said.

"We are doing everything to search for the bodies and investigate the causes of this awful tragedy," Shoigu said at the meeting in the Defense Ministry.

Shoigu stressed that the ministry will try to do its utmost to minimize the pain caused by the loss.

The Tu-154 plane from Russia’s Defense Ministry, en route to Syria, crashed on December 25 shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi. There were 92 people on board the aircraft - eight crew members and 84 passengers, including servicemen, journalists, renowned Russian humanitarian and charity activist Elizaveta Glinka, known as Dr. Liza, and more than 60 members of the famous Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian Armed Forces.

The ensemble was on its way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria.

On Tuesday, the first flight data recorder of the plane was recovered from the bottom of the Black Sea. Its decoding may shed light on the circumstances of the tragedy.

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