A Russian military passenger plane carrying dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers and orchestra members plunged into the Black Sea minutes after it took off en route Sunday to a military base in Syria, killing all 92 people on board, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
As of Sunday evening, the cause of the crash had yet to be determined. Though some officials initially ruled out terrorism, Russia’s special Investigative Committee, which opened a criminal inquiry, is considering all possibilities.
“Of course, the entire spectrum and almost any possible causes … are being probed, but it is premature now to speak about this” as a terrorist act, Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters in Sochi, the Black Sea resort where the plane had made a refueling stop.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian military spokesman, told reporters that no one survived after the aging Soviet-era jet, which originally set out from Moscow, crashed shortly a refueling stop at the airport in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
“The area of the crash site has been established,” Konashenkov said. “No survivors have been spotted.”