ICR Central Board to investigate TU-154 crash
The ICR Central Board is to take up criminal investigation of the TU-154 crash over the Black Sea. The Military Investigation Department of the ICR for the Sochi garrison has previously initiated a case under Violation of Flight Rules entailing Heavy Consequences.
According to official representative of the Investigative Committee for media relations Svetlana Petrenko, the case has been referred to the ICR Central Board in accordance with the Resolution of Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Aleksandr Bastrykin to carry out the most complete and objective investigation.
It is reported that a team of investigators and criminologists from the central office with extensive experience in the investigation of air accidents has been sent to the crash site at the request of the ICR Head.
Let us recall that the Russian Ministry of Defense’s TU-154 disappeared from radar in the morning on December 25 20 minutes after taking off in Sochi. According to recent data, there were 92 people on board, including members of Aleksandrov Song and Dance Ensemble, and TV crews of Zvezda, NTV, and Channel One television channels. Elizaveta Glinka (Dr. Lisa), head of Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity fund, who was accompanying the humanitarian aid – medicines and medical equipment – was also among the passengers. Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta does not exclude that the full list of passengers is not disclosed, because there could have been higher ranks of the Ministry of Defense on board.
The plane was flying to Syria to Khmeimim Air Base, where the ensemble was to perform for Russian soldiers dedicated to New Year holidays.
Later it became known that the airliner fell into the Black Sea near Sochi coast. The aircraft’s debris was scattered over a distance of between 1.5 and 8 km from the coastline. As a result of a large-scale search and rescue operation, 10 bodies have been pulled out of the water so far. It is reported that 27 ships, 4 helicopters, drones, and submersibles are involved in the search operation. The work is carried out by 37 divers of the Black Sea Fleet; 100 more divers from other fleets of the Russian Navy have been sent to help them.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared December 26 a mourning day.