Tu-154 crash: Russia declares Dec. 26 as day of national mourning

Moscow [Russia], Dec. 25 : Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced December 26 as the day of national mourning for Tu-154 plane crash victims "Tomorrow the day of national mourning will be declared in Russia," Tass news agency quoted Putin, as saying.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry and the Russian Defence Ministry have confirmed the crash of the missing Tu-154, saying the debris of the aircraft and alleged personal belongings of the passengers were discovered in the Black Sea.

According to a report in Russia's Sputnik news agency, the jet with some 91 people including 83 passengers and eight crew members onboard lost contact with land while flying over the Black Sea on Sunday.

Journalists, military personnel, musicians from Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian armed forces were onboard.

Initially, it was reported that the plane was carrying some 70 people. The preliminary data shows that the disappeared plane was heading to Syria's Latakia. According to a source, the jet disappeared from radars 20 minutes after departing from Sochi, Krasnodar Krai.

Source: ANI