Russian Military Plane, With At Least 91 Aboard, Crashes Into Black Sea
00:51, Dec 26, 2016
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A search operation is underway.
They had been en route to Syria to perform for Russian military personnel. Meanwhile, emergency response teams on Sunday began to recover debris - and at least one body - from the Black Sea, near the coast of Sochi.
On Dec. 19, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at an art exhibit in Ankara, with the killer yelling "don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria!"
Eight journalists were also on board, in addition to the flight's crew members.
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The high pressure center driving this cold is transient, and it will slide east across the state on Friday. From about 3 AM through 9 AM Saturday morning will be when we could see sleet or freezing rain.
In nationally televised comments, Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in St. Petersburg, declared December 26 a national day of mourning and said the cause of the crash would be carefully investigated.
Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and several matches in the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
While officials said they did not believe the crash was caused by terrorism, Russian broadcaster MKRU reported that security cameras nearby recorded a bright flash near the plane before it went down. New Year's is the main holiday for most Russians.
Tupolev-154 is powered by three engines making it highly efficient in carrying loads and people. The Defense Mininstry said a widely revered Russian charity doctor was also on board the plane in addition to a Russian army general and five colonels.
The damage to the choir was reported to be devastating. It is the work horse of the Soviet and Russian airlines.
Her foundation, Spravedlivaya Pomoshch, or Just Help, says she was accompanying a shipment of medicines for a hospital in Syria.
Those Syrian government forces are now battling rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
There appear to be no survivors, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry. Investigators blamed a pilot error in adverse weather, but Polish authorities have launched a new probe.
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