Russian fighter jet crashes into lake after bursting into flames

Both crewmen are reported to have successfully ejected

Emily Atkinson
Wednesday 26 April 2023 17:42 BST
Related video: British and German warplanes intercept Russian spy jets flying over Baltic Sea

A Russian fighter jet has crashed into a lake after bursting into flames during a training exercise, according to Russian state media.

The MiG-31 fighter jet crashed in the northern Murmansk region on Wednesday, TASS news agency said, citing Russia’s defence ministry.

The incident took place 10km away from the town of Monchegorsk, near Russia’s Rizh-Guba island.

One of the plane’s two jet engines exploded during a training exercise and the pilot then lost control before the plane plummetted into a nearby lake, state media reported.

Both crewmen in the two-seater aircraft are reported to have successfully ejected.

“During the execution of a planned flight, one of the engines of the MiG-31 caught fire, after which it fell,” a source claimed. “According to preliminary data, the plane crashed into the lake.”

Neither pilots suffered life-threatening or altering injuries, Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.

It adds: “On April 26, while performing a planned training flight in the Murmansk region, a MiG-31 fighter crashed. The plane crashed in a deserted place.

“Both pilots ejected. The pilots were promptly evacuated by a helicopter of the search and rescue service, nothing threatens their lives and health.”

It comes just five days after Russia accidentally fired a weapon into one of its own cities near Ukraine.

A powerful bomb accidentally dropped by a Russian warplane hit the city of Belgorod (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Footage shows an explosion and damaged buildings in Belgorod, 40km north of the border. Two women were injured, according to the regional governor.

The explosion knocked down power supply lines, shattered windows in nearby apartment buildings, damaged several cars and left a 20-meter crater, Belgorod regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement.

Immediately after the explosion, Russian commentators and military bloggers were abuzz with theories about what weapon Ukraine had used for the attack.

But about an hour later, the Russian defence ministry acknowledged that the explosion was caused by a weapon accidentally dropped by one of its own Su-34 bombers.

It didn’t offer any further details, but military experts said the weapon likely was a powerful 500kg bomb.

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