Military plane crashes into residential building in Russian city near Crimea
- The plane was on a training flight after taking off from Yeysk . airport
- The engine caught fire in flight and the pilots were ejected just before the crash
- The plane crashed into a nine-storey residential building, causing a huge fireball
- The number of casualties has not yet been specified, although early reports suggest there have been a number of deaths and several hospitalized in critical condition
A Kremlin military plane has crashed into a high-rise building in Russia, causing a massive fireball explosion.
The Su-34 bomber was on a training flight when it malfunctioned and plowed into the apartment building in Yeysk, a resort town in the Krasnodar region near Crimea.
The engine caught fire shortly after takeoff and both crew members were ejected just before the plane plunged straight into the civilian building.
Four floors of the building are still ablaze after tons of fuel exploded in the collision, with 2,000-square-foot flames still ripping through the apartment building.
Shocking footage and images circulating on social media show the dramatic fireball ripping through the building as a fully deployed parachute floats to the ground nearby.
It was not immediately clear how many victims there were, but early reports from the Russian outlet Baza suggest that at least three people were killed and 12 people, including a child, were hospitalized in critical condition.
Unconfirmed photos circulating on social media show the dramatic fireball ripping through the building as a fully deployed parachute floats to the ground nearby (circled)
The plane crashed into the apartment building in Yeysk, a seaside resort on the Sea of Azov near Crimea
The Su-34 bomber was on a training flight when it malfunctioned and plowed into the apartment building in Yeysk, a resort town on the Sea of Azov near Crimea.
Russia’s Su-34 Fighter-Bomber Plane
The Sukhoi Su-34 is a Russian-made supersonic fighter-bomber aircraft.
It was developed in the 1990s to replace its aging predecessor, the Su-24, but was not widely used by the Russian Air Force until well into the 2000s.
The Su-34 is considered a fairly capable multi-role aircraft in the sense that it is primarily designed to hit ground and surface targets with missiles and bombs, but can also participate in air-to-air combat missions.
However, it has a reputation for being accident prone.
On two separate occasions in 2019, two pairs of Su-34s collided during training exercises and a fifth jet crashed during a training mission in 2020.
The Russian defense ministry said: “On October 17, 2022, a Su-34 plane crashed while climbing to conduct a training flight from the military airfield of the Southern Military District. The plane crashed in the city of Yeysk.
“According to the ejected pilots’ report, the cause of the plane crash was the ignition of one of the engines during takeoff.
“The plane’s fuel ignited at the site of the Su-34 crash in the courtyard of one of the residential areas.”
Chief war correspondent for the pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda Aleksandr Kots indicated that the plane was an Su-34 of the 277th Bombing Aviation Regiment of Russia.
“So far the main version is that it was birds that got into the engines on take-off,” Kots claimed.
Fire helicopters and ambulances rushed to the site of the nine-storey apartment building.
Regional Governor Veniamin Kondratyev said all regional emergency services were working to extinguish the blaze.
Local authorities said the massive fire engulfed several floors of an apartment building and affected at least 15 apartments.
The first to fifth floors of the nine-storey block of flats were set on fire, eyewitnesses said, while a report at the scene said emergency services had struggled to extinguish the blaze that had spread through the block of flats.
Former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak said: “It’s scary to imagine how many dead there will be.”
Regional Governor Veniamin Kondratyev, 52, confirmed through his Telegram channel that he was at the scene of the incident, but had no direct information on casualties.
The engine caught fire shortly after takeoff and both crew members were ejected and landed safely just before the crash
Fire helicopters and ambulances rushed to the site of the nine-storey apartment building