A Russian Defence Ministry plane carrying 70 people onboard has vanished from the radar screens after departing from the resort city of Sochi, authorities said.
The Tu-154 aircraft is not a civilian one and was en route to the Syrian port city of Latakia, an Emergency Ministry source told Sputnik News Agency. It lost contact with land over the Black Sea.
“The jet disappeared from radars about 20 minutes after takeoff, it departed (from Sochi) at 5.20 a.m., and the contact was lost at about 5.40 a.m.,” he said.
The people onboard included journalists, military personnel, musicians, the source said.
Initially it was reported that the plane was carrying some 70 people.
The Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range airliner produced by Russian aerospace and defence company Tupolev. It is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in use and widely used in extreme Arctic conditions.