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MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. The crash of the Su-24M bomber in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk region on Monday occurred due to engine failure during the take-off and not because of a pilot error, a source in the Chief of Staff of the Russian Air Force has told TASS.
"According to preliminary data, after the plane got off the runway of the Khurba airfield near Khabarovsk, the engine failed and the aircraft fell suddenly to the left side and hit the ground," the source said.
"Everything occurred in just seconds, and the crew was physically unable to save the vehicle or itself," he added.
The Su-24M bomber crashed during take-off for a training flight at 2.35 p.m. Moscow time on Monday (1135GMT), killing both pilots. The crash occurred in a deserted area causing no destruction on the ground. The plane was carrying a full ammunition load, a source earlier told TASS.
This is the second crash of a Russian military plane over the past few days. A MiG-29 fighter jet crashed in southern Russia’s Krasnodar Territory last week but the pilot ejected. The previous Su-24 bomber crash occurred in February in the southern Volgograd region, in which both pilots were killed.