A black box has been found in the wreckage of a Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday, killing all 92 on board, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday citing a law enforcement source.
The source said the box, which contains flight information that could help identify the cause of the crash, would be sent to Moscow for analysis.
Investigators have so far said that pilot error or a technical fault were likely to have caused the Defence Ministry TU-154 to come down.
The plane was carrying dozens of Red Army Choir singers and dancers to Syria to entertain Russian troops in the run-up to the New Year, as well as other passengers.
The FSB security service said it had not so far found any evidence pointing to foul play and was investigating four possible causes, the Interfax news agency reported.
Those were that a foreign object had fallen into an engine, that the fuel had been poor quality causing engine failure, pilot error, or a technical fault.
Mourners left flowers in front of the Moscow headquarters of the Russian Army’s Alexandrov song and dance troupe, more than 60 of whom were killed in the crash.
A handwritten note outside the office of Glinka, the late humanitarian worker on board, read: “We want V.V. Putin to ban the TU-154.”
The Defence Ministry says the downed jet, a Soviet-era plane built in 1983, had last been serviced in September and undergone more major repairs in December 2014.
The last big TU-154 crash was in 2010 when a Polish jet carrying then-president Lech Kaczynski and much of Poland’s political elite went down in western Russia killing everyone on board.
Russian authorities have said they have no plans to withdraw the TU-154 from service for the time being.
Defence Ministry spokesman Konashenkov said 45 ships, five helicopters, drones, and more than 100 divers were involved in the wider search, and soldiers were scouring the Black Sea coastline as well.
He said ten bodies and 86 body fragments from the crash had been flown to Moscow so that experts could try to identify them.