Chilling video footage has emerged that captures the moment a Russian warplane crashed into a building apartment block, killing 13 people, according to Russian state media. At least three children are among the dead. According to the Russian Defense Ministry and state-run news source RIA Novosti, the mishap happened after one of the engines caught fire.
According to reports, three adults leaped to their death instead of getting burnt inside the building. Firefighters who spent the entire night putting out the flames reported early on Tuesday that 68 people had been evacuated from the building, 19 of whom needed medical attention due to various injuries.
Dead in No Time
A Russian Sukhoi 34 fighter bomber crashed into the ground in front of an apartment complex on Monday night after taking off from an airstrip in the southern Russian city of Yeysk, close to the Ukrainian border. The aircraft had one engine on fire when it crashed.
Although the plane crashed on the ground near the building, it got engulfed in flames, prompting people to jump from the building. Among those who tried to jump, three people died.
However, the pilots managed to jump from the plane. "According to the report of the ejected pilots, the cause of the plane crash was the ignition of one of the engines during take-off. At the site of the crash of the Su-34 in the courtyard of one of the residential quarters, the plane's fuel ignited," the ministry said in a statement to RIA.
The conditions of the ejected pilots are not clear.
Dramatic video footages show the fighter bomber flying toward the apartment building before hitting the ground. Other video clips being circulated on social media show the building apartment engulfed in flames.
One of the photos from the scene shows one of the pilots ejecting from the plane while the building is already in flames. Another footage shows one of the pilots on the ground nearby still attached to his parachute.
The sound of explosions can be heard in the background of the video that shows the pilot lying on the ground, sparking rumors on Russian social media that the plane was on a combat mission and ammunition detonated after it crashed.
Veniamin Kondratyev, the governor of the Krasnodar area, however, refuted the claims and said that the explosions were caused by fuel tanks overflowing. According to the Russian news outlet Zvezdanews, 410 firefighters and emergency service employees assisted in putting out the fire.
Vice governor of the region Anna Menkova said three of the victims died when they jumped from the upper floors of the building in a desperate attempt to escape the flames, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.
The fire was reported to have affected at least 17 flats, and about 100 were said to have been evacuated. According to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, was informed of the incident and gave the local governor and the ministers of health and emergency the go-ahead to visit the scene.
Yeysk, a city with a population of 90,000, is home to a sizable Russian air base and training center.
Additional hospital beds were being set up for hurt people, according to Minkova, who also stated that "specialists from the burn department from regional clinical hospitals have been sent to Yeysk."
The Russian ministry of defense said: 'On October 17, 2022, while climbing to perform a training flight from the military airfield of the southern military district, a Su-34 aircraft crashed. The aircraft crashed within the city of Yeysk.
Aleksandr Kots, chief combat correspondent for the Kremlin-friendly daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, also said that the aircraft was a Su-34 from the 277th Bombing Aviation Regiment of Russia. "So far, the main version is that it was birds getting into the engines at take-off," he claimed.
An investigation into the incident has reportedly been launched by Russia's investigative committee, which looks into major offenses. According to witnesses, the block's first through fifth floors were set on fire.
According to one report, the fires that had spread throughout the building and were made worse by jet fuel that had been sprayed all over the crash site were difficult for emergency personnel to put out.
The area was cordoned off, according to a local named Oksana who declined to disclose her last name. "There could be an explosion. Everything is burning inside. there is smoke," she told AFP.
The Su-34 is a supersonic twin-engine attack aircraft that has been a crucial striking element of the Russian air force. It is outfitted with sophisticated sensors and armaments. It first took to the air in 1990, but it wasn't put into operation until 2014, which is 26 years later. The Syrian civil war has seen extensive deployment of the aircraft.
Prior to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, Russia was rumored to possess about 140 operable Su-34s. Since Moscow dispatched its soldiers into Ukraine, there have been 10 documented non-combat crashes of Russian warplanes.
Ukrainian residents endured additional fear on Monday as Russian-launched kamikaze drones produced in Iran attacked Kyiv in the morning, just a few hundred miles across the border from Yeysk.
Beginning 3.30 a.m. on Monday, at least five explosions shook the Ukrainian capital as waves of Shahed-136 drones—28 in all—dodged air defenses and crashed into the city. Police and the military resorted to firing machine guns into the air to try and bring the drones down.