Three dead after Russian bomber crash during training flight

MOSCOW: Three Russian bomber crew members died and another was injured when their plane crashed on a training flight Tuesday, Moscow’s defence ministry said, days after a deadly collision between two jets.

“A Tu-22M3 plane made a hard landing after a training flight due to going into a snow flurry,“ falling apart on impact, TASS agency quoted the defence ministry as saying.

“Two pilots have been sent to a medical facility … two crew members have died,“ it said. The plane was not carrying munitions, it said.

A third pilot died from injuries later, a representative of the regional trauma hospital told the agency.

The incident occurred in Russia’s northern Murmansk region. Sources told Russian agencies that emergency services were trying to put out a fire at the accident site.

Tu-22M3 is a strategic long-range bomber originally developed in the 1970s. Some of these planes participated in Russia’s Syria campaign, their strikes against Islamic State jihadists widely publicised on Russian television.

A crew of four operates the plane.

The accident comes less than a week after two Su-34 bombers collided in the Russian Far East during a scheduled training exercise last Friday.

Only one of the four crew members involved, all of whom were able to eject, has been rescued alive. Bodies of two pilots were recovered, while the fourth person has not been found.

The two recovered bodies are to be buried on Wednesday in their Siberian hometown Barnaul, local media said. — AFP

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