An Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft crashed on Wednesday in the Belgorod region of Russia, the state-run RIA news agency reported citing the Defense Ministry.
As related video shows, the aircraft appears to nose down and crash into Russian territory in a split second, with a thick cloud of fire and smoke engulfing it.
🚨Russian Il-76 heavy transport aircraft has CRASHED near Belgorod 40 kilometers north of Ukraine border. #Airdrop #OperationGoldsmith pic.twitter.com/NmsTfSWUfk
— UltimateMaster (@ultimateemaster) January 24, 2024
However, it is not known what may have preceded the “plunge” of the Il-76.
Initial information from the Russian Ministry of Defense states that “on board the aircraft were 65 captured soldiers of the Ukrainian army who were being transported to the Belgorod region for a (prisoner) exchange, six crew members and three companions”, the ministry said.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said an unspecified “incident” occurred in the region's Khorosansky district, northeast of the city of Belgorod, adding that he would go to the scene.
< p>According to him, searchers and rescue crews have already rushed to the area.
The Il-76 is a military transport aircraft designed to airlift troops, cargo, military equipment and weapons.
< p>It has a regular crew of five and can carry up to 90 passengers.
source: CNN Greece