Russian rescuers have recovered parts of the Syria-bound military plane that came down into the Black Sea with 92 passengers on board.
Investigators have not yet confirmed the cause of the crash as they are waiting for more evidence to resurface.
Due to the presence of musicians that were expected to perform for Russian military forces in Syria, speculations of terrorist activity had arisen. However, Russia has dismissed all claims of possible terrorist activity, saying technical fault, interference from a foreign object or bad fuel are probable causes.
During late hours of the night, rescue teams recovered parts of the fuselage. Later the defense ministry confirmed that the plane’s chassis had been found underwater along with one of its engines.
The Russian plane suspiciously disappeared a mere 2 minutes after take-off from Sochi’s Adler airport on Christmas day. The plane had stopped for refueling in Sochi and was heading for Latakia in Syria.
The plane was carrying 64 members of Russia’s celebrated Alexandrov military ensemble which was due to perform on New Year’s Eve for Russian troops in Syria. Russia’s best-known humanitarian activists, Yelizaveta Glinka was also on board.
Sources have revealed that the plane was unable to gain height possibly because of a technical default or even overloading.
An Aviation Safety Net report suggests that the plane had taken a U-turn back towards the coastline after taking off but recordings on Russian media reveal that the final conversation between air traffickers and the plane have no indications of any difficulties on board.
Since the crash, vigils have been held across Russia in remembrance of the lives that were lost. President Putin also announced a day of mourning following the tragedy.