Specialists have finished the main phase of the search and rescue operation at the site of the crash of the Tu-154 aircraft in the Black Sea, a law enforcement source told RIA Novosti.

"The main phase of the search and rescue operation has been completed," the source said on Thursday.

The main fragments of the Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 aircraft that crashed in the Black Sea on Christmas have been lifted up from the water, a law enforcement source said.

"The main fragments of the plane are on a special platform, where specialists will ‘lay out’ the crashed aircraft," the source said.

On Sunday morning, the Russian Tu-154 plane heading from Moscow to Syria crashed shortly after refueling and take-off from the Russian southern city of Adler, near Sochi. The plane was carrying 92 people, including eight crew members, 64 musicians of the Alexandrov Ensemble, nine reporters, head of Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity Elizaveta Glinka, and two federal civil servants.

Source: Sputnik