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Air Force Bomber Crashes During Training Exercise

A Soviet-designed Su-24 during a May 2009 training flight.

Military investigators are examining flight recorders from an Air Force bomber that crashed during a training exercise in the Chelyabinsk region.

Two pilots survived the crash, which took place 70 kilometers from Chelyabinsk on Tuesday, after ejecting themselves from the Sukhoi Su-24, Interfax reported Wednesday. No civilians were injured in the crash.

"Both pilots are healthy and well. They will undergo extensive medical tests," Yaroslav Roshchupkin, the Central Military District's official spokesman, told the news agency.

While specialists examine the Su-24's flight recorders, military investigators have opened a criminal case on charges of violating flight-safety rules and inadequate preparation, according to a statement on their official website.

The charges carry a sentence of up to seven years' jail time.

The Sukhoi Su-24 bomber, developed in Soviet times as an aircraft capable of delivering air strikes at low altitudes, has suffered roughly two dozen crashes since the turn of the century.

In February, a Su-24 crashed in the Chelyabinsk region due to errors while refueling in midair. The crash reportedly cost the military about 169 million rubles ($5.4 million) and caused a fuel spillage into a nearby lake.

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