Russian Federation recovers black box from military plane crash, grounds TU-154 aircraft

The Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range airliner produced by Russian aerospace and defense company Tupolev.

More than 3,500 rescue workers are involved in the operation to find the remains those on board and plane debris.

Rescue teams have recovered 12 bodies and numerous body fragments, which have been flown to Moscow for identification.

On Sunday night it was confirmed that those killed also included the revered Russian humanitarian Elizaveta Glinka, better known simply as "Dr Liza", who was accompanying the choir to deliver medical supplies to a hospital in Latakia, Syria.

Sokolov previously said that investigators were looking into all possible causes of the crash, including terrorism.

He added it's premature to speculate about the cause of Sunday's crash.

The defence ministry said that five plane fragments, including part of the fuselage and engine, were found overnight 30 metres underwater at around 1,700 metres from the shore.

The priliminary data shows that the disappeared plane was heading to Syria's Hmeimim airbase.

One body has already been recovered and it is thought that there will be no survivors.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to head a government commission to investigate the crash.

Assad says he received news of the crash "with deep grief and sadness".

The Tu-154 plane went down shortly after taking off from the southern city of Adler where it had been refuelling, defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a briefing broadcast on the ministry's website.

It was carrying 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble, who were to perform for Russian troops in Syria. Image Credit: Ekaterina Lyzlova / AFP/Getty Images " We will conduct a thorough investigation into the reasons and will do everything to support the victims' families", Putin said. The BBC report quotes sources at the emergency ministry saying that the missing aircraft is a Tu-154.

A Russian Defense Ministry flight carrying dozens of people has vanished from the radar screens after departing from the resort city of Sochi, Russian media reported Sunday, citing preliminary findings.

There were 84 passengers and eight crew members aboard of the Tu-154 plane.

The cause of the crash wasn't immediately known.

Russian Federation observed a day of mourning on Monday and Sochi's administration announced on Tuesday that it is cancelling the New Year's Eve celebration on its main square due to the tragedy.

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