A Russian military plane with no fewer 92 people on board has crashed into the Black Sea, according to the country’s ministry of defence.
The plane disappeared from radar 2 minutes after taking off from the resort city of Sochi.
Quoting a security source, the Sputnik news agency said musicians and media representatives were among those on board the ill-fated aircraft.
The BBC said some soldiers, 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble, and nine reporters, were on the plane.
Following preliminary information, the accident was caused by a technical malfunction.
The plane was heading to Latakia in Syria.
The flight originated in Moscow and had landed at Adler airport in Sochi for refuelling.
The ministry of defence said in a statement, “Fragments of the Tu-154 plane of the Russian defence ministry were found 1.5km (one mile) from the Black Sea coast of the city of Sochi at a depth of 50 to 70m (165-230ft),”