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MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. A five-meter hull fragment of the crashed Tu-154 plane has been spotted by Russian emergencies ministry divers in the area where more fragments were earlier found, a spokesman for the headquarters of the search operation told TASS.
"A five-meter fragment of the Tu-154 has been found. An operation to lift it is being prepared," the spokesman said, adding that search operations are conducted in adjacent areas.
The Russian emergencies ministry’s southern regional rescue team confirmed that divers have spotted fragments of the crashed plane at the bottom of the Black Sea.
A Russian defense ministry Tu-154 bound for Syria vanished from radars in the early morning on 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-acclaimed Alexandrov ensemble, the official choir of the Russian armed forces, who set off to celebrate New Year’s Еve with Russia’s Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim air base in Syria. The Executive Director of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Russian for Fair Aid or Fair Help) charity fund Elizaveta Glinka, known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, was also on board the flight.
The defense ministry said that fragments of the Tu-154 aircraft were found 1.5 km off the coast of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters. Thanks to intensive efforts by search and rescue teams, 11 bodies have been recovered so far.