MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. The body of the ill-fated Tu-154 pilot in command, Roman Volkov, has been lifted by divers from the sea bottom, a source in the law enforcement agencies told TASS on Monday.
"When large fuselage fragments were lifted, one more body was found. When lifted the body was identified as the plane’s pilot in command Roman Volkov, judging by the insignia," the source said.
Apart from that, according to the source, divers lifted 70 more fragments of bodies.
A Russian defense ministry Tu-154 bound for Syria crashed 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 from Russia's Channel One, Zvezda and NTV networks, 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 Eve 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.
A number of Tu-154 fragments were found several hours later some 1.5 km off the coast of Sochi at a depth of 50-70 meters. By now, 13 bodies have been recovered. None of the passengers on the flight survived. According to the Federal Security Service, no evidence has been found linking the crash to terrorism.