Russia fighter hits apartments in city near Ukraine, 4 dead, six missing

  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

YEYSK, Russia, Oct 17 (Reuters) – A Russian warplane crashed into an apartment building in the southern city of Yeysk on Monday, engulfing apartments in a fireball and killing four people, officials said.

Another six people were missing.

Military news channel Zvezda released video that appears to show explosions aboard the Sukhoi Su-34 medium-range supersonic fighter-bomber as it plummeted towards the apartments. Russian authorities said the pilots bailed out.

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The RIA news agency quoted the local emergency services as saying that four people had died and six were missing. The Tass news agency quoted the headquarters of the rescue operation as saying that 25 were injured.

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Anna Minkova, deputy governor of Krasnodar Territory, previously wrote on Telegram that three people had died and another 10 were hospitalized from smoke inhalation.

Authorities have reserved 600 beds in hotels and guesthouses to accommodate those who have had to leave the building, RIA said.

Footage from the construction site showed large parts of the building burning after the crash. Local authorities later said the fire had been extinguished.

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State-run RIA said the crash happened during a training flight from a military airfield. It quoted the MoD as saying the pilots reported that an engine caught fire on takeoff and the plane’s fuel then ignited when it struck the building.

Russia’s state investigative committee, which deals with serious crimes, said it opened a criminal case and sent investigators to the scene.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had ordered all necessary assistance to be provided to the victims. He ordered health and emergency ministers to fly to the region.

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Krasnodar regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said the fire started in a nine-story building.

“The fire consumed several stories at once. Seventeen apartments were provisionally damaged,” he said on Telegram.

The incident comes almost eight months after Russia sent its troops to Ukraine. Yeysk is separated from occupied Russian territory in southern Ukraine by a narrow stretch of the Sea of ​​Azov.

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Reuters reporting; writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Sandra Maler, David Ljunggren and Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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