Russian military plane bursts into flames and crashes into a lake
Russian military plane bursts into flames and crashes into a lake in region bordering Finland
- Law enforcement agencies reported the crash, according to Russian state news
- The crash was reported to have happened in Murmansk in Russia’s northwest
A Russian military plane has burst into flames and crashed into a lake in a north-western region of Russia that borders Finland, according to state media.
The military plane crashed in the Murmansk region after catching fire, the TASS news agency said on Wednesday, citing law enforcement agencies.
The MIG-31 fighter jet, said to be on a training flight, ‘crashed in an uninhabited area,’ TASS quoted the ministry as saying. The pilots ejected, the agency added, and were found ‘alive and well’ after the drama.
According to preliminary data, the plane fell into a lake, TASS had said earlier. The report did not give any information on what caused the plane to burst into flames.
Videos emerged online purportedly showing the jet moments before the crash.
Pictured: Video purportedly showing the Russian jet falling from the sky with a trail of flames streaming behind it
Set against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, the jet could be seen soaring overhead with flames and smoke streaking behind it, before disappearing out of view over a treeline – seconds before crashing into the ground.
A further video appeared to show the site of the crash, with debris scattered across the top of what appeared to be a frozen lake.
An eyewitness said the plane was already engulfed in flames as it took off. ‘The plane took off and everything was already on fire,’ the witness told news outlet Readovka.
The cause of the crash remains unclear. An official probe is underway.
The plane crashed near the village of Rizh-Guba, close to Lake Imandra – a vast lake dotted with several islands.
Murmansk is a region in the arctic circle on Russia’s Kola Peninsula in its far-northwest. It borders both Norway and Finland – both members of NATO.
Moscow has a large military presence stationed on the peninsula, while Russian military bases there house the world’s largest concentration of nuclear weapons.
This is said to be a deterrent against Moscow’s foes, with the military presence there being reinforced recently amid Vladimir Putin’s on-going invasion of Ukraine.
The crash is the latest calamity to befall a Russian aircraft, after one of Putin’s warplanes accidentally bombed the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border last week in a humiliating blunder.
Belgorod was also the site of a jet crash in February this year, when a Russian Su-25 plane crashed near the Ukrainian border. While the pilot was able to eject from the cockpit, he later died from his injuries.
Pictured: The plane is seen going down over Russia’s Murmansk region on Wednesday
The crash also comes after Russia and China on Wednesday morning signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening maritime law enforcement cooperation – in the same region where the jet crashed.
And yesterday, British and German warplanes were scrambled to intercept two Russian jets and a spy plane that came close to encroaching on NATO airspace over the Baltic Sea.
The UK and Germany sent Eurofighter Typhoon jets from Amari Air Base in Estonia to identify the two Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft escorting an Ilyushin Il-20 Coot-A intelligence plane, the RAF said.
The Russian jets and spy plane were flying over the Baltic Sea close to Estonian airspace when they were intercepted yesterday in the latest tense encounter in the skies between Moscow and the West.
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