Russian fighter jet crashes into mountain range, killing two

September 6th, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — A Russian fighter jet crashed in the central region of the country, killing both pilots on board, officials said on Tuesday.

The Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jet belonging to the Russian Air Force was on a routine training flight when it exploded in mid air, only minutes after taking off, a spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti.

The explosion created a large fireball and the aircraft crashed in the Perm Region of Russia’s Ural Mountains. The crash site was reached about an hour later, some 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) away from its takeoff point. The bodies of the pilots have been recovered.

Reports suggest that the incident occurred just four minutes after taking off from the Bolshoye Savinovo air base, when the aircraft disappeared from radars. The fighter jet’s black boxes have been located, although the reason of the accident remains uncertain.

investigators are reviewing possible technical failure as a cause, the ministry said. Following the incident, the ministry grounded all Mig-31 fighter jets until the cause of the accident is determined.

In November 2010, another Russian Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jet crashed in the same region of the Urals. However, the pilots were able to eject safely and survived the incident.

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