A Russian military fighter jet crashed into an apartment building in a town near Ukraine, sparking a major fire.
The incident happened on Monday in Yeysk, a small port town in western Russia’s Krasnodar Territory with a population of around 90,000. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the story to the state press agency Tass and reported that the plane involved in the crash was a Su-34 fighter jet.
The aircraft’s brand has been confirmed by various reputable sources, including Dutch defense analysis and news site Oryx, which added the Su-34 to its list of aircraft destroyed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Oryx lists 17 Russian Su-34 jet fighters destroyed in various incidents, with another unconfirmed and potentially involving a slightly different model.
“A Su-34 plane crashed while climbing up for a training flight from the military airfield of the Southern Military District,” the Russian Defense Ministry claimed in its statement. “According to the expelled pilots’ report, the cause of the plane crash was the ignition of one of the engines during takeoff.”
Yeysk is particularly close to Ukraine, with the port city spanning the Taganrog Gulf in the eastern Sea of Azov from Mariupol, a Ukrainian city that was the focus of intense conflict during the invasion. By road, the city is about 300 kilometers from the nearest border with Ukraine. The city is also close to a Russian military base.
The jet’s pilot is believed to have survived the crash. A photo released by BNO News shows a parachute over the explosion caused by the incident.
Officials from the local emergency services in Yeysk told Interfax that the crash and resulting explosion ignited five floors of the apartment building. A few floors above collapsed and 45 residential units have been damaged so far. Tass later reported that all nine floors of the building were on fire.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the incident, according to Al Jazeera, and has ordered emergency and health officials to send help. Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev reported on the response to the crash on Telegram, saying that fire and rescue units were dispatched to the scene. Military investigators are also working to uncover more details about what led to the crash.
Along the southern edge of the Sea of Azov runs the Kerch Strait, which is crossed by a strategically important bridge connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. On October 8, an explosion rocked the bridge in the early hours of the morning, eventually collapsing parts of the structure. Russian officials called the incident an act of terrorism, while Ukraine does not officially recognize it.
news week turned to Russian Foreign Ministry officials for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/russian-su-34-fighter-jet-crashes-yeysk-apartment-building-1752526 Russian fighter jet crashes into apartment building across Ukraine Bay