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First victim of Tu-154 crash identified — source

December 26, 2016, 17:27 UTC+3
A Tupolev-154 plane from Russia’s Defense Ministry crashed in the early morning hours of December 25 shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi
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© AP Photo/Viktor Klyushin

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. The first victim of last Sunday’s crash of a Tupolev-154 airliner near the Black Sea resort of Sochi has been identified, a medical source in Moscow said.

"The first plane carrying the bodies of Tupolev-154 crash victims arrived in Moscow earlier on Monday. The process of identification has begun. The first victim has been identified," the source said without disclosing the victim’s name.

Teams of medics and psychologists are on duty at the morgue by the side of victims’ relatives.

Earlier, it was announced that all bodies will be delivered for identification and DNA testing at the Defense Ministry’s chief center of medical and forensic examination.

TASS has no official confirmation of this yet.

A Tupolev-154 plane from Russia’s Defense Ministry crashed in the early morning hours of December 25 shortly after taking off from the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

There were 92 people on board the aircraft, including eight crew members and 84 passengers that lost their lives in the plane disaster. Among those on the fatal flight was the Executive Director of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity fund, Elizaveta Glinka, better known to the Russian public as Dr. Liza, as well as military servicemen and nine reporters from Russia's Channel One, Zvezda and NTV networks. The plane was also carrying more than 60 members of the world-renowned 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.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that fragments from the Tu-154 disaster had been discovered some 1.5 kilometers off the coast of Sochi at depths of 50-70 meters. Thanks to intensive efforts by search teams, so far 11 bodies have been found. None of the passengers on the flight survived. According to the FSB’s latest conclusions, no evidence has been found linking the crash to terrorism.

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