A Syria-bound plane from Russia crashed into the Black Sea minutes after take off from an airport in Sochi province. The plane is carrying 84 passengers and eight crew members on board. There was no sign of survivors.
Most of the passengers of the ill-fated Tu-154 plane were members of the famous Russian army choir. The aircraft disappeared from the radar merely two minutes after take off. As of this posting, rescuers have recovered 10 bodies floating with the fragments of the aircraft some 1.5 km from the shorelines.
The plane was bound for Latakia, Syria to transport members of Alexandrov Ensemble for a New Year's concert at Hemeimeem air base. Also on board were Russian journalists and a Russian doctor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a nationwide day of mourning on December 26 while vowing a thorough investigation of the incident. While there are speculations that the incident may be a terror attack, Russian authorities have rejected the claims.
Over 3,000 people from 27 ships and several helicopters trooped to the crash site to help the search and rescue operations. The Russian government has deployed over 100 divers to participate in the search efforts.