Russia fighter jet crashes into apartments in city near Ukraine, killing 13

RIA news agency said the plane was a fighter jet and crashed during a training flight from a military airfield.

 Fire fighters extinguish fire in an oil depot that Ukraine's State Emergency Services say was caused by Russian strikes in Zhytomyr region, Ukraine March 7, 2022 in this still image obtained from a handout video. (photo credit: State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)
Fire fighters extinguish fire in an oil depot that Ukraine's State Emergency Services say was caused by Russian strikes in Zhytomyr region, Ukraine March 7, 2022 in this still image obtained from a handout video.
(photo credit: State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

A Russian fighter plane crashed into a residential building in the southern city of Yeysk shortly after take-off on Monday, engulfing apartments in a fireball and killing at least 13 people, Interfax news agency reported.

A further 19 people suffered injuries, agencies quoted local officials as saying. Yeysk is separated from occupied Russian territory in southern Ukraine by a narrow stretch of the Sea of Azov.

Military news channel Zvezda published video appearing to show explosions aboard the Sukhoi Su-34 supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber as it plunged toward the apartments. Russian agencies said the pilots had ejected.

Footage from the site showed large parts of the nine-story building on fire after the crash. Local authorities later said the blaze had been put out.

Krasnodar regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev denied local reports the plane had been loaded with ammunition.

 Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia's attack continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO) Cars are seen on fire after Russian missile strikes, as Russia's attack continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 10, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

"If that had been the case, then only half the building would be here," RIA cited him as telling reporters.

Around 250 people were evacuated, including 40 children, authorities said.

What caused it?

RIA said the crash took place during a training flight from a military airfield. It quoted the defense ministry as saying the pilots reported an engine had caught fire on takeoff, and the plane's fuel had then ignited when it struck the building.

Russia's state Investigative Committee, which deals with serious crimes, said it had opened a criminal case and sent investigators to the scene.

The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had ordered all necessary help to be provided to victims. He also ordered the health minister to fly to the region.

The incident comes nearly eight months after Russia sent its troops into Ukraine.