Russian Tu-154 plane crash
Russian Emergencies Ministry members work at a quay of the Black Sea near the crash site of Russian military Tu-154 plane, in the Sochi suburb of Khosta, Russia, Dec. 25, 2016. REUTERS/Yevgeny Reutov

No survivors have been found in the Russian Tu-154 plane crash Sunday, according to the country's defense ministry. The aircraft carrying 92 people had gone missing shortly after taking off from Sochi.

The plane went down in the Black Sea and authorities have determined the crash site, the ministry said. It had departed at 5:20 a.m., local time, (9:20 p.m. EST Saturday) and failed to check in with the tower at 5:40 a.m.

Authorities have ruled out terrorism as possible reason for the crash, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, said.

"I rule out version of the terror attack completely. It is the aircraft of the Ministry of Defense, the airspace of the Russian Federation, there cannot be such a version," Ozerov said, adding that technical fault or human error could have led to the tragic accident. "The plane had to make a U-turn after take-off over the sea, may took the wrong direction," he added.

The crashed Tupolev Tu-154 plane had 6,689 hours of flight and was manufactured over 30 years ago. The aircraft was last repaired two years ago.

"The last repair was on December 29, 2014, and in September 2016 it underwent scheduled maintenance," the defense ministry said.

During Sunday’s ill-fated incident, the plane was flown by an experienced class 1 pilot with over 3,000 hours of flight.

"The Tu-154 plane of the military and transport aviation of Russia’s Defense Ministry was flown by experienced pilot Roman Volkov," the ministry said.

The plane, carrying a total of 84 passengers and eight crew members, was en route to Latakia province in western Syria. Elizaveta Glinka — a prominent charity activist and humanitarian worker — was onboard the plane along with journalists from Russian broadcasters Channel One, Zvezda and NTV. Most of the passengers were members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces, according to the ministry. So far, seven bodies have been found at the crash site, a law enforcement source told Tass news agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to establish and head a government commission for an investigation into the incident. The country’s investigative committee has launched a criminal case into "the violation of rules of flights safety or preparation for them."

Medvedev said that the crash will be thoroughly investigated.

“The circumstances of today's events will be carefully investigated. And everyone who's affected by this tragedy will be given the necessary help. This terrible tragedy took the lives of people full of energy and plans. Among the dead are journalists, military men, musicians. They were flying to Syria with a kind and peaceful mission. It's impossible to come to terms with this grievous loss, it's irreparable,” Medvedev said.

Maria Olson, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, expressed condolences over the crash.

The Russian Black Sea fleet’s six ships and vessels have been dispatched to the crash site.

"Four ships, four helicopters, one aircraft and drones are involved in the search and rescue operation. Six ships and vessels of the Black Sea fleet, remotely operated submersibles and 63 divers have been additionally sent to the crash area. Fifty more divers from other fleets will be brought to the crash area in about an hour," the defense ministry said.

Meanwhile, several major Russian broadcasters have altered their routine shows following the crash. Channel 1 will not telecast entertainment shows and promos for New Year's specials, REN TV will air hourly news bulletins and avoid airing any entertainment programs, NTV will not be showing a New Year's film and entertainment programs, according to RT.