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NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 15 /TASS/. Engine failure could not have been the main cause behind the Tupolev Tu-95MS plane crash. Fuel is likely to be the main problem, Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.
"Engines never fail on their own, especially all at once," the vice-premier told journalists. He did not rule out that low-quality fuel could have caused the Russian Air Force plane to crash.
The aircraft crashed in the Khabarovsk Territory in the Russian Far East during a training flight on Tuesday morning.
The flight was performed without an ammunition allowance. The plane crashed in a deserted area and there is no destruction on the ground.
Russia’s Defense Ministry suspended the flights of Tupolev Tu-95MS (NATO reporting name: Bear) strategic bombers.
The Defense Ministry’s press office said that a technical failure is the likely cause for the crash. A source told TASS that the strategic bomber crashed due to failure of all of its four engines.
That was not the first incident recently involving the TU-95 strategic bomber. On June 8, the Tu-95MS aircraft skidded off runway in the Amur Region because of the burning engine. There was no ammunition on board. Several crew members sustained injuries of varying severity when leaving the plane and were taken to hospital.
On June 4, two accidents occurred in the Russian Air Force: the MiG-29 fighter jet crashed near the Ashuluk range, and in Voronezh the Su-34 bomber flipped over whilst landing. The pilots in both cases survived.
On July 3, the MiG-29 fighter jet crashed near Krasnodar, the pilot managed to eject, and on July 6 a Su-24 crashed in the Khabarovsk Territory, both pilots died.