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Jakarta Post

Russian military plane with 91 aboard missing over Black Sea


    Associated Press

Moscow   /   Sun, December 25, 2016   /  01:31 pm
Russian military plane with 91 aboard missing over Black Sea Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff speaks at a briefing at the Defense Ministry's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on Dec. 9, 2016. Rudskoi said on Friday that 10,500 civilians — including 4,015 children — have left Aleppo's eastern neighborhoods in the last 24 hours. (AP/Pavel Golovkin)

A Russian Tu-154 aircraft with 91 people aboard, including a famed military band on the way to Syria, disappeared Sunday over the Black Sea shortly after takeoff from the resort town of Sochi, the Defense ministry said.

The ministry said the plane was carrying the famous Alexandrov military band for a concert at the Russian air base in Syria.

A total of 83 passengers and eight crew were on board when the plane dropped off radar early Sunday. Emergency services are searching for the plane, a Soviet-designed three-engine airliner, the ministry said.

Nine journalists were among the passengers, according to the Interfax news agency. Russian media reports said the plane disappeared over the sea a few minutes after takeoff.

Interfax reported that the rescuers already have determined the location of the crash, but there has been no official confirmation.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was personally coordinating the rescue efforts, and President Vladimir Putin has received official reports on the incident. (ags)