Russian military cargo plane crashes, killing four

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A Russian military cargo plane crashed in the city of Ryazan southeast of Moscow on Friday, killing four people and injuring five others, authorities said.

The aircraft was on a training flight without cargo when the crew decided to land due to an engine malfunction, and it was partially destroyed when it hit the ground, the defense ministry said in a statement quoted by local news agencies.

“According to preliminary information, four people died as a result of a plane crash in the area of the Mikhailovsky highway in the city of Ryazan,” the regional government’s crisis unit said in a statement, as quoted by the TASS state news agency.

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The defense ministry said the injured crew members were taken to hospital.

The aircraft was a Il-76 military transport plane, which were first manufactured in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s.

The plane crashed into a field close to residential buildings near a highway, causing a fire that has since been extinguished, TASS reported.

A witness quoted by the Ria Novosti agency said the crash took place at around 4:00 am local time.

No details were given about where the plane was headed when it crashed in Ryazan, around 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of the Russian capital.

Several military planes have crashed this month near Russia’s border with Ukraine, where Moscow has been engaged in fierce fighting since invading in late February. The army has cited potential technical problems for the previous crashes.

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