MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian warplane slammed into a residential building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk on Sunday, killing both crew members, authorities said. It was the second time in less than a week that a fighter jet crashed into a residential area in Russia.
Irkutsk region governor Igor Kobzev said the Su-30 fighter jet crashed into a private two-storey building housing two families. He said there were no casualties on the ground as all five residents of the building were absent at the time of the crash.
He said residents would be offered temporary housing and compensation.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known and an official investigation has begun. On October 17, a Su-34 bomber crashed near an apartment building in the Sea of Azov port in Yeysk and exploded in a giant ball of fire, killing 15 people and injuring 19 others. .
The crashes could reflect the growing pressure that fighting in Ukraine has placed on the Russian air force.
United Aircraft Corporation, a state-controlled conglomerate of Russian aircraft factories, said in a statement that the plane involved in Sunday’s incident crashed during a training flight before delivery to the ‘Air Force. The jet carried no weapons during the flight.
CCTV footage posted on Russian social media showed the fighter in a nearly vertical dive and then exploding. Other videos showed the building engulfed in flames and firefighters deployed to put out the blaze.
Irkutsk, a major industrial center of more than 600,000 people in eastern Siberia, is home to an aircraft factory producing Su-30s, a two-seat supersonic twin-engine fighter that has been a key part of the army of looks Russian. China, India and many other countries also use the planes.
Sunday’s crash was the 11th reported crash of a non-combat Russian warplane since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine on February 24. Military experts noted that the number of Russian military flights rose sharply during the fighting, as did the number of accidents.
The Associated Press