Russian fighter plane crashes into apartments in southern city near Ukraine

Yeysk, Russia: A Russian fighter plane has crashed into a residential building in the southern Russian city of Yeysk, engulfing apartments in a huge fireball, and officials were quoted as saying at least two people were killed.

Video published by the military news channel Zvezda on Monday (Russia time) appeared to show explosions aboard the plane as it plunged towards the apartments.

Flames and smoke engulf a building after a warplane crashed into a residential area in Yeysk, Russia.Credit:AP

Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said the plane was a Sukhoi Su-34, a supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber.

News agencies quoted emergency officials as saying at least 15 people were injured. They said the pilots had ejected.

State-owned RIA said the crash took place during a training flight from a military airfield. It quoted the defence ministry as saying the pilots had reported that an engine had caught fire on takeoff, and the plane’s fuel had then ignited when it struck the building.

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

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had been informed, and had ordered all necessary help to be provided to victims. He ordered the health and emergencies ministers to fly to the region, it said.

“Emergency services are already working on the spot – all regional fire and rescue garrisons are engaged in extinguishing the fire,” Kondratyev, governor of the Krasnodar region which includes Yeysk, wrote on Telegram.

He said the fire had broken out in a nine-storey building. “The fire engulfed several floors at once. Seventeen apartments were preliminarily damaged,” Kondratyev said. “Information about the dead and injured is being clarified. Ambulance crews are on the scene.”

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

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