Russian fighter jet crashes into apartment in southern city near Ukraine

  • This content was produced in Russia, where laws restrict reporting of Russian military operations in Ukraine

YESK, Russia (Reuters) – A Russian fighter jet crashed into a residential building in the southern Russian city of Yesk on Monday, engulfing the apartment in a huge fireball, killing at least two people, officials were quoted as saying.

Video posted by military news channel Zvezda appeared to show the plane exploding as it rushed towards the apartment.

Regional Governor Vinyamin Kondratiev said the plane was a Sukhoi Su-34, a supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber.

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At least 15 people were injured, news agencies quoted emergency officials as saying. They said the pilot had ejected.

The state-owned RIA said the crash occurred during a training flight at a military airport. It cited the Defense Ministry as saying pilots reported an engine fire during takeoff and then the plane’s fuel ignited as it hit the building.

Russia’s State Investigative Committee, which handles serious crimes, said it had opened a case and sent investigators to the scene.

The Kremlin said it had notified President Vladimir Putin and had ordered all necessary assistance to be given to the victims. It said he ordered the Minister of Health and Emergencies to fly to the area.

“Emergency services are already on the scene – all regional fire and rescue garrisons are fighting fires,” Kondratiev, the governor of the Krasnodar region, which includes Yesk, wrote on Telegram.

He said the fire broke out in a nine-story building. “The fire engulfed several floors at a time. 17 apartments were initially damaged,” Kondratiev said. “Information on casualties is being clarified. Ambulance crews are at the scene.”

Yeysk is separated from occupied Russian territory in southern Ukraine by a narrow strip of the Sea of ​​Azov.

The incident comes nearly eight months after Russia sent troops to Ukraine.

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Reporting at Reuters; Writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Sandra Maler

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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