The Tu-154’s main flight data recorder was found at the depth of 17 meters (56 feet), Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The ministry added that five more fragments of the crashed plane have been located.
The fragments have been found at the depth of 30 meters (98ft). The fragments include the fuselage and parts of the engine.
At least 12 bodies from the plane crash have been recovered so far, the ministry said.
The black box was located some 1,600 meters (one mile) from shore by a FALCON underwater drone.
Some 45 ships, 15 underwater drones, 192 divers, 12 planes, and 5 helicopters are currently involved in the search, according to the ministry.
The black box will be delivered to the Central Research Institute of the Air Force of Defense Ministry in the city of Lyubertsy, a Moscow suburb, within the next few hours, the ministry reported.
A source told TASS earlier that one of the key theories as to why the plane crashed “is that foreign objects penetrated the engine,” adding that other possible causes, such as pilot error and technical failure, are also being investigated.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s Tu-154 plane crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from Sochi’s airport, killing 92 people on board. The plane was en route to Latakia, Syria, transporting 64 members of the world-famous Alexandrov Ensemble army choir, humanitarian workers and several media crews to take part in Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
The head of the choir, conductor and composer Valery Khalilov, as well as revered Russian humanitarian and charity activist Elizaveta Glinka (popularly known as Dr. Liza) were among the victims of the crash.
Russia on Monday observed a nationwide day of mourning for the victims of the crash.