Russian emergency crews are aiming to work all night searching the Black Sea off Sochi for victims and plane debris after a Russian Tu-154 carrying 92 passengers and crew crashed right after takeoff before dawn.
More than 3,000 people — including over 100 divers flown in from across Russia — were working Sunday from 32 ships and several helicopters to search the crash site, the Defense Ministry said. Drones and submersibles were being used to help spot bodies and debris. Powerful spotlights were brought in so the search could go on around the clock.
Emergency crews found fragments of the plane about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from shore. By Sunday evening, rescue teams had recovered 11 bodies and Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said fragments of other bodies were also found.
The military plane was flying from the southern Russian city of Sochi to Syria. Among its passengers were members of the world-famous Russian army choir who planned to perform at a New Year’s concert at the Russian military base in Syria.