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11 Bodies and 154 Fragments of Crashed Aircraft Recovered from Black Sea

Russian rescue workers carry a body from the wreckage of the crashed plane, at a pier just outside Sochi, Russia, Dec. 25, 2016. Viktor Klyushin / AP

Rescuers have recovered 11 bodies and 154 airplane components from the Tu-154 passenger aircraft that crashed in the Black Sea on Sunday.

Ten bodies and 86 fragments from the Defense Ministry plane will be will be transported to Moscow, the RBC news outlet reported Monday.

Meanwhile, an extensive rescue mission is continuing. Around 3,500 people are working at the crash site, and 39 ships and deep-diving vehicles are taking part in the operation. 

The Tu-154 plane, en route to Syria, was carrying military personnel, journalists, and musicians due to perform at a New Year’s concert for servicemen at the Hmeimim military base. It took off from the Chkalovsky military airport in Moscow at 1:30 a.m. local time, and stopped to refuel at Sochi-Adler airport. The crash occurred minutes after the plane departed from Sochi.

All 92 people on board, including 8 crew members, are presumed dead. Among the passengers confirmed to be on the plane was the prominent humanitarian and charity worker Elizaveta Glinka – widely known as Doctor Liza. 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, also known as the Red Army Choir, were also on board.  

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