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Russian Bomber Crashes in Siberia in Military's Latest Accident

The Tu-95 Bear aircraft crashed during a training flight just before 10am this morning in the country’s Far East, 50 miles outside of Khabarovsk.

by VICE News
Jul 14 2015, 5:15pm

Photo by Reuters

Two people died in a Russian strategic bomber crash in Siberia today, leaving five survivors in what was the sixth military aircraft accident in the country in just under six weeks.

The Tu-95 Bear aircraft crashed just before 10am this morning in the country's Far East, 50 miles outside of Khabarovsk, the Defense Ministry said, according to Sputnik News. The bomber was carrying out an 80 kilometer training exercise flight when the accident took place. The ministry cited an unspecified technical malfunction as the cause.

"The flight was conducted without weapons," the Defense Ministry said. "According to preliminary data, after the aircraft commander reported an emergency situation [aboard the plane] the flight commander ordered the crew to leave the aircraft on parachutes."

The crew on a plane flying in the area saw the passengers aboard the aircraft open their parachutes. The ministry said the five survivors were transported to a hospital, while the other two passengers died during the crash landing.

All Tu-95s flights have been suspended as an investigation is carried out. This is the second recent Tu-95 accident. During a June 8 incident, one of the four-engine bombers skidded off a runway during a landing in the southwestern Voronezh region.

Related: Video Shows Aftermath of Deadly Russian Military Barracks Collapse

A similar suspension was employed on all Su-24s aircrafts, with the entire fleet of the planes grounded as an investigation determines the cause of a crash involving that aircraft on July 6.  The July crash occurred while the plane was taking off at night from a Khabarovsk regional airport, with the aircraft making a sharp left turn and hitting the ground soon after it was airborne.

Adding to the list of plane crash woes for the Russian military, there were two separate MiG-29 fighter jet crashes in recent weeks. The first took place on June 4, when one of the fighter jets crashed in southern Russia. The two crew members were able to safely eject. The second occurred on July 4, with the aircraft going down in the southern part of the country. the pilot involved in the second crash also survived after bailing out of the plane.

In addition to the string of crashes, the Russian military is dealing this week with the aftermath of a deadly barracks collapse at a paratrooper training facility in Siberia. Twenty-three Russian soldiers died in the accident on Monday that completely destroyed a four-story section of the building. At least another 10 soldiers were injured during the collapse, which occurred 1,400 miles from Moscow on the outskirts of the city of Omsk.

The 40-year-old barracks reportedly underwent renovations in 2013, according to General-Major Igor Konashenkov, who stressed to the Associated Press that the updates could not have played a role in the collapse. An investigation is reportedly underway to determine the cause of the accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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