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MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Three more fragments of the Russian defense ministry’s Tu-154 plane that crashed in the Black Sea near Sochi on December 25 have been found, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
"Submersibles from the Seliger boat of the Russian Defense Ministry’s deep water research and the Epron rescue boat of the Black Sea Fleet have found three more fragments of the crashed plane, including the engine, a landing gear leg and pieces of the aircraft covering, at a distance of from 1,600 to 4,500 meters," the ministry said.
According to the ministry, efforts are being taken to lift these fragments from the bottom.
Search operations in the Tu-154 crash zone are conducted round-the-clock. As many as 98 divers and 14 submersibles of various types are involved in the key sector of searches.
A flight recorder of the plane has been brought to the central research center of the Russian Aerospace Force in Lubertsy, near Moscow, the ministry said.
"The main flight recorder from the lost Tupolev-154 liner has been delivered to the Central Research Institute of the Russian Aerospace Force in Lubertsy, near Moscow. After taking the first look at the flight recorder the institute’s specialists said its condition is satisfactory," the Defense Ministry said, adding that data from the recorder will begin to be retrieved after the device has been cleaned with distilled water.
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.