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4 killed in Russia military plane crash

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Russia plane crash site...

Four of the nine persons on board an Ilyushin Il-76 military cargo plane were killed when it crashed and caught fire during landing on Friday near Ryazan in western Russia, according to reports from local authorities cited by the RIA news agency.

According to RIA, five persons were hospitalised with injuries.

The Russian defence ministry was cited separately by the Interfax news agency as stating the plane encountered an engine issue while doing a training mission. The ministry withheld information on crew casualties.

The Il-76 cargo aircraft crashed in the city of Ryazan 200 kilometres southeast of Moscow, officials said in a statement carried by news agencies. Reports said it was en route from the Urals city of Orenburg to Belgorod on the Ukrainian border.

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“Two bodies were retrieved from the burning aircraft,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.

TASS later reported that the death toll has increased to four.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the crash occurred due to engine failure.

It did not indicate whether the Il-76 was transporting soldiers for deployment in Ukraine, where Russia has been waging a deadly four-month military campaign.

The local branch of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said there was no destruction to infrastructure as a result of the crash.

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Most Ilyushin-76 aircraft are at least 30 years old.

Once notorious for accidents, Russia’s major airlines have shifted from the aging Soviet aircraft to more modern planes.

But poor maintenance and lax safety standards persist, and the country regularly experiences civilian and military air disasters.

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