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Second black box from crashed Russian plane found in Black Sea

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This handout video grab released by Russian Emergency Ministry on December 28, 2016, shows shows a diver looking at a piece of the crashed military plane carrying 92 people, including dozens of members of the Red Army Choir, during searches in the underwater area outside Sochi, in the Black Sea. Russian rescuers working round the clock have found the main black box from the Syria-bound military plane that crashed into the Black Sea with 92 people on board, authorities said on December 27, 2016. The discovery of the black box comes as searchers scramble to recover bodies and remaining debris from the aircraft in an operation involving divers, deepwater machines, helicopters and drones. The Tu-154 jet, whose passengers included more than 60 members of the internationally renowned Red Army Choir, was heading to Russia's military airbase in Syria on December 25 when it went down off the coast of Sochi shortly after take-off from a refuelling stop at the airport. / AFP PHOTO / RUSSIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY / HO /

This handout video grab released by Russian Emergency Ministry on December 28, 2016, shows shows a diver looking at a piece of the crashed military plane carrying 92 people, including dozens of members of the Red Army Choir, during searches in the underwater area outside Sochi, in the Black Sea. Russian rescuers working round the clock have found the main black box from the Syria-bound military plane that crashed into the Black Sea with 92 people on board, authorities said on December 27, 2016. The discovery of the black box comes as searchers scramble to recover bodies and remaining debris from the aircraft in an operation involving divers, deepwater machines, helicopters and drones. The Tu-154 jet, whose passengers included more than 60 members of the internationally renowned Red Army Choir, was heading to Russia’s military airbase in Syria on December 25 when it went down off the coast of Sochi shortly after take-off from a refuelling stop at the airport. / AFP PHOTO / RUSSIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY / HO /

Russian rescuers trawling the Black Sea on Wednesday found the second black box from a Syria-bound military plane that crashed at the weekend with 92 people on board, authorities said.

“The second onboard recorder from the Tu-154 plane has been found and raised from the seabed,” the defence ministry said in a statement to Russian news agencies.

The discovery of the black box comes the day after rescuers found the primary inflight recorder and should help provide vital clues as investigators try to work out what caused the fatal crash.

Russia’s FSB security service has said it is looking into four main suspected causes: pilot error, technical failure, faulty fuel and a foreign object in the engine.

The agency said that so far there were no indications to suggest terrorism was behind the crash, but did not rule it out entirely.

The Soviet-era jet, whose passengers included more than 60 members of an internationally renowned Red Army troupe, was heading to Russia’s military airbase in Syria on Sunday when it went down off the coast of Sochi shortly after take-off from a refuelling stop at the airport.

The discovery of the second black box comes as searchers scramble to recover bodies and remaining debris from the aircraft in a major operation involving divers, deepwater machines, helicopters and drones.

The defence ministry told Russian agencies that so far 15 bodies and 239 body parts from those onboard the ill-fated aircraft have been found, with some of the remains transported to Moscow for DNA identification.

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 President Bashar al-Assad last year.

The military performers were set to perform for Russian troops at the Hmeimim airbase in Syria, Moscow’s main staging post in the war-torn country.


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