In a tragic incident, a Russian military plane bound for Syria crashed into the Black Sea few moments after it took off. It was carrying the Russian military choir that were to entertain the Russian military. It is being reported that all the member of the band might have died besides the crew members.
It was last Monday when Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated. But the plane crash isn’t being seen associated with any terror activity and the crash is found to be due to a technical failure in the initial investigation. The Russian military has been subject to minor casualties during their deployment in Syria, but in the recent days, there have been a lot of setbacks.
The plane was carrying 84 passengers, including the 64 members of the famed military choir Alexandrov Ensemble, and eight crew members. The flight originated from Moscow and it stopped in Sochi to refuel. It was heading for Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base in Syria where the band had to serenade Russian military personnel on New Year’s Eve. According to the Defence Ministry, 10 bodies had been recovered while the search operation continued.
The plane was a Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154, which disappeared from radar after two minutes of taking off from Sochi. A news agency reported that the official weather forecast agency of Russia said that the conditions near the airport were “normal, easy”. The flight was found in the sea about one mile from the shore right after that. The Defence Ministry said that no survivors were found at the crash site.
An eminent Russian philanthropist and a member of the presidential council on human rights and civil society, Yelizaveta P. Glinka, was also on board the plane. She was recently honoured with an award by President Putin for work related to human rights and charity. Besides her, three journalists from Channel One, Russia’s main television station, and a few other journalists from Zvezda and NTV television networks were also on board when the plane crashed.
Mr. Putin has expressed his condolences to the victims’ family and relatives. Monday has been declared a national day for mourning by the President. He has also ordered the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev to establish a state commission to investigate the crash. The commission is to be headed by the transportation minister, Maxim Sokolov.