The Russian Tu-154 plane crash was likely because of pilot error or technical fault, the country’s transport minister Maxim Sokolov said early Monday, ruling out terrorism as a cause. His comments were in complete contrast to earlier reports that the jet was technically sound before takeoff. 

The plane, which was carrying 92 people, went down Sunday in the Black Sea while traveling from Sochi to Latakia province in western Syria.

The first bodies of the victims of the plane crash arrived in Moscow on Monday while a massive search operation for other victims continues.

Sokolov also reportedly said that the Black Sea current may have swept parts of plane fragments to Abkhazia. “It is assumed that some fragments, remains could cross the border. Therefore our Abkhaz colleagues are ready to include their forces and means in search and rescue operations,” Sokolov said.

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