A Russian military plane carrying 92 passengers has crashed into the Black Sea, according to local media, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
The ministry says 84 passengers and 8 crew members were on board, and that emergency teams have been dispatched.
Russian state TV reports the Tu-154 passenger plane dropped off from radar about 20 minutes after taking off from Sochi’s Adler airport at 5:20 a.m. local time on Sunday.
The Defense Ministry says wreckage debris has been found about a mile off the Sochi coast.
As NPR’s Lucian Kim tells our newscast from Moscow, the plane was reportedly carrying members of a military choir, the famed Alexandrov Ensemble, who were to perform in a holiday concert for Russian service members deployed in Syria.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said soldiers and nine reporters were also on board the plane.
“Rescuers already have found one body and personal documents belonging to some of those on board,” says the AP, with no word of survivors.
Lucian adds that Russian commercial airlines have been gradually phasing out the Soviet-designed three-engine aircraft for more modern models, but, as the AP notes, the military has continued to use them.