Russian fighter jet crashes into a two-storey building in Siberia, both pilots killed

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By Euronews  with AP
Firefighters work at the scene after a warplane crashed into a residential area in Irkutsk, Russia, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.
Firefighters work at the scene after a warplane crashed into a residential area in Irkutsk, Russia, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.   -  Copyright  AP Photo

A Russian fighter jet crashed into a residential building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk Sunday, killing both pilots, regional authorities said. 

Irkutsk Governor Igor Kobzev said the plane came down on a two-story building in the city.

Kobzev said there were no casualties on the ground as the building's five residents were out at the time of the crash, adding that the residents would be offered temporary accommodation and compensation.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and an official probe has started. 

Irkutsk, a major industrial centre of more than 600,000 in eastern Siberia, is home to an aircraft factory producing the Su-30 fighter planes.

The United Aircraft Corporation -- a state-controlled conglomerate of Russian aircraft-making plants -- said in a statement that the plane in Sunday's incident came down during a training flight before its delivery to the air force. The jet carried no weapons during the flight.

Surveillance camera videos posted on Russian social networks showed the fighter in a nearly vertical dive and then exploding. Other videos showed the building engulfed by flames and firefighters deployed to extinguish the blaze.

The crash came less than a week after another Russian warplane crashed near an apartment building in the Sea of Azov port of Yeysk and exploded in a giant fireball, killing 15 and injuring another 19.

Sunday's crash was the 11th reported non-combat crash of a Russian warplane since Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. 

Military experts have noted that as the number of Russian military flights increased sharply during the fighting, so did the crashes.

The Su-30 is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat fighter introduced in 1992. 

It has been a key component of the Russian air force — which had over 100 operational Su-30 jets before its February invasion — and also has been used by India and other countries. 

It is unclear whether the jet that crashed on Sunday was one of Su-30's more modern variants.