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Crashed Russian military plane not exploded

Friday, 30 December 2016

MOSCOW: Russian officials probing the crash of a Syria-bound military plane said Thursday there was no explosion on board, but equipment was not functioning correctly when it plunged into the Black Sea.

The Soviet-era Tu-154 plane went down shortly after takeoff from Sochi airport on Sunday morning, killing all 92 on board, including scores of performers from a feted Red Army Choir troupe.

“There was no explosion on board, I can say that for certain,” said Sergei Bainetov, head of flight safety for the Russian air force. “But an act of terror is not necessarily an explosion, so we are not discarding this version.”

The probe had established the plane was not working normally but will not issue any conclusions before January.

The military ensemble was due to give a concert to Russian soldiers at the Hmeimim base, Moscow’s main outpost for its bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

The air force had ground the Tu-154, which is not used by commercial airlines, “until the first conclusions” are made about the crash.

The plane was flown by an experienced pilot, who had 4,000 hours of flight experience, including 1,500 hours on the Tu-154, and analysis of the second black box, which records conversations in the cockpit, suggests he noticed something was wrong.

So far only 19 bodies and some 230 body parts have been discovered, Sokolov said. 

The loss of the plane has shocked Russia at a time when the Kremlin was celebrating the recapture of Syria’s Aleppo by regime forces, the biggest success since it launched its bombing campaign to support Assad last year.

Source by: Internet

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