A Russian military plane reported missing Sunday with 92 people aboard has crashed, leaving a trail of plane wreckage in the Black Sea near Sochi, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
A Tupolev Tu-154 plane that was carrying 84 passengers and eight crew members disappeared from radar Sunday morning local time after taking off from the Adler airport near the Black Sea city, state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The plane, which first took off from Moscow, was headed to the Russian Hmeymim airbase in Latakia, Syria, where the country has a large military presence, for a concert ahead of New Year’s Eve, a source told Russia’s state news agency Tass.
Before arriving in Latakia, the plane landed in Sochi to refuel, the Defence Ministry’s press service told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
According to RIA Novosti, the Defense Ministry said it found debris from the missing Tu-154 in the Black Sea one mile from Sochi. Four ships and five helicopters have combed the crash site, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, according to Russian state run news agency TASS.