Fighter jet catches fire and crashes near Monchegorsk
Several videos posted on social media by locals in Monchegorsk Wednesday afternoon show a fighter jet catching fire in the skies above the city, flying in flames a few kilometers and then crashing.
Law enforcement officials told news agency TASS that one of the engines caught fire and the plane shortly after fell to the ground.
Eyewitnesses write in several regional Telegram posts they saw two parachutes from the plane before it crashed.
There are contradicting reports about the conditions of the two pilots.
While the Governor of Murmansk Oblast, Andrei Chibis, said both pilots are examined by doctors and hospitalization was not required, TASS reported that the two pilots “were in serious condition.”
“The pilots are both located and taken care of by local emergency services,” RIA Novosti reports on Telegram with reference to the Ministry of Defense.
The plane crashed through the ice on Lake Imandra and sank. Emergency teams are now working on the site which is about 10 kilometers from Monchegorsk, an industrial city about two hours drive south of Murmansk inside the Arctic Circle.
Monchegorsk Air Base has both MiG-31 and Su-24 aircraft. The video below is one of many posted on different social media channels by locals.
On Tuesday, three MiG-31 aircraft from the Northern Fleet’s air defense forces guarded a pair of Tu-160 strategic bombers that flew over the Barents- and Norwegian Seas north of Norway.