Aircraft Operated by Armavia, 113 Onboard
ANN REALTIME UPDATE
05.03.06 1300EDT: Authorities now say that 113 passenger and
crewmembers were onboard the Armavia Airlines A320 that went down
in the Black Sea Tuesday night -- and that it appears no one could
have survived the accident.
"According to preliminary information, all people on board are
dead," a spokesman for the Russian emergency ministry told the
Officials have been quick to dispel rumors that a terrorist
attack was responsible for bringing the medium-range airliner down
as it was on approach to land at Sochi, a Black Sea resort town in
"At the moment we have absolutely no evidence pointing to the
possibility of a terrorist attack on the plane," Nikolai Shepel,
the Deputy General Prosector, told local news reporters. An airline
official also ruled out technical failure.
Unnamed Russian officials told the Times investigators are
blaming the accident -- the worst in Armenia's history -- on strong
crosswinds and poor visibility due to low-lying clouds.
Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Russian President
Vladmir Putin have both declared Friday as a day of mourning to
honor the victims of the accident.
ANN is monitoring reports that an Armenian Airbus A320-200 is
reported down over the Black Sea on a flight from Yerevan. The
airliner, reportedly carrying 112 people, is said to have gone down
near the Russian resort town of Sochi.
Bad weather appears to be hampering search efforts as well as
potentially complicit in the accident. The aircraft was under radar
surveillance when it went off the scope at approximately 0330 local
time (Wednesday). The aircraft was making a turn toward Adler
Airport when the accident transpired.
So far, rescue parties have recovered aircraft wreckage, life
jackets and some baggage in the waters some four miles off the
coast. Of the 112 people listed on board the aircraft, ANN regrets
to report that at least five appear to be children. Eight
crewpersons were listed onboard this aircraft.
Armavia took over many of bankrupt Armenian Airlines' routes
after negotiations with Armenian government took place when
Armenian Airlines declared bankruptcy in 2004.
Russian aviation officials report that the aircraft issued no
distress call before the impact and that an investigation is