MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry slammed as ‘nonsense’ media reports on Tuesday on the preliminary causes of the Tu-154 plane crash near Sochi in late December.
"All the rumors published by LifeNews on the allegedly established causes of the Tu-154 plane crash in Sochi are absolute nonsense and an invention by this publication. The commission for the investigation of the air disaster continues its work. We consider it as inadmissible and immoral to try like LifeNews to accuse someone without proof and invent some conclusions before the investigation is over," the Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
The Internet media outlet Life, citing sources, reported that the Defense Ministry’s experts had established the preliminary causes of the air disaster: the plane’s overloading and an error by a pilot who confused the levers of running gear and flaps control.
A Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 bound for Syria crashed in the early morning hours of December 25 shortly after taking off from Sochi. There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including eight crew members and 84 passengers. Among them were journalists, servicemen and musicians from the world-renowned Alexandrov ensemble, the official choir of the Russian armed forces, who set off to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria.
The Executive Director of the Russian for Fair Aid charity fund Elizaveta Glinka, known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, was also on board that flight.