Plane carrying 91 people including famous band crashes into Black Sea
A MILITARY aircraft carrying 91 people – including a famous band – from Russia to Syria has crashed into the Black Sea.
A Tu-154 aircraft belonging to the Russian Defense Ministry disappeared from radars after its takeoff from Sochi, in Russia.
The flight – which is believed to be carrying 83 passengers and eight crew – vanished "between 5 and 7km after takeoff" over the Black Sea.
It was heading to Syria, carrying a famous Russian band to perform a New Year's concert for Russian soldiers, sources suggest.
The plane was last detected at about 5.20am local time – 2.20am GMT – over Russian terroritorial waters.
A map showing Sochi International Airport and Latakia in Syria
The Alexandrov Ensemble, the official army choir of the Russian armed forces
Rescue workers have already determined the crash site.
A search team is on its way.
A source said: "Tu-154 of the Defense Ministry departed from Sochi and disappeared from radars after some time.
"Its search is currently organised."
The aircraft was en route to Latakia in Syria.
The source said: "The aircraft departed to Latakia and then disappeared from radars.
「According to preliminary data about 100 people were on board.」
Musicians and journalists are believed to among the passengers.
Unconfirmed reports say musicians from the Alexandrov Ensemble – the official army choir of the Russian armed forces – were aboard.
They were going to celebrate the upcoming New Year with the Russian air force at the Hmeimin air base in Syria, Russian media quoted the Defence Ministry as saying.