On Sunday, minutes after taking off from Sochi, a Russian Tu-164 military plane carrying 92 people crashed into the Black Sea. In the hours following the crash, rescue teams discovered debris from the plane washed up about a mile from the shore. It's not clear what caused the crash, which took place in good weather — but according to defense affairs committee chair Viktor Ozerov, who spoke to Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the crash is not being considered terrorism. This is for one key reason, Novosti explained: The plane had been operated by the military, and was traveling to Syria.
In a statement, the defense ministry said:
There is no indication of survivors. One body has been found, according to the BBC. The RIA news agency said in a statement Sunday that it suspected a technical malfunction to be behind the crash.
On board the plane were 64 members of the famous Russian military choir Alexandrov Ensemble, which is the choir that officially represents the Russian military. Nine journalists were also on board, as well as doctor Yelizaveta Glinka, the Washington Post reports. The defense ministry has released a full list of the names of those involved in the crash.
Russia has already launched a criminal investigation into the crash to determine what happened, according to The Guardian.
Missing Russian military plane crashed & plane wreckage was found in Black Sea, Russian Defense Ministry says. https://t.co/Mc92eRWpzd— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 25, 2016
Eight crew members and 83 passengers, most of them members of the Alexandrov choir, were on the plane when it crashed. The choir had been traveling to Syria to to perform for military personnel in the region.