Dramatic video showed a Russian fighter plane erupting into a fireball as it crashed into a residential building near the border of Ukraine on Monday, killing at least four people and injuring more than two dozen others.
The crash took place in the Russian city of Yeysk during a training flight from a military airfield, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
Footage shared on social media appeared to show explosions inside the plane as it nosedived toward the nine-story apartment building, eventually sparking a massive fire that spread throughout the building.
The fire spread from the first to the ninth floor, causing the upper floors of the building to collapse, Russia’s Tass news agency reported.
Emergency officials told RIA news agency that four people had died and another six were missing. Tass reported that 25 people had been injured.
The fallen aircraft was identified as a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet. The plane’s crew managed to eject before the plane broke down within the city and crashed inside a courtyard of a residential building, according to the defense ministry.
The plane’s pilots had reported that an engine caught fire during takeoff, prompting a massive blaze when the plane’s fuel came in contact with the building.
“According to the report of the ejected pilots, the cause of the plane crash was the ignition of one of the engines during takeoff. 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.
Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said all regional fire and rescue teams were working to extinguish the blaze.
“The fire engulfed several floors at once. Seventeen apartments were preliminarily damaged,” Kondratyev said. “Information about the dead and injured is being clarified. Ambulance crews are on the scene.”
The city of Yeysk is separated from occupied Russian territory in southern Ukraine by a narrow stretch of the Sea of Azov.
Earlier Monday, Russia targeted Kyiv with a wave of “kamikaze” drones as it continues its “special military operation” in Ukraine. The attacks, the second set of coordinated airstrikes in the past week, killed at least three people in Ukraine’s capital city.