A video showing the fiery explosion of a Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber has been posted on YouTube by a local news service.
The dramatic minute-long clip appears to show the Tu-95 — a type of Soviet-built nuclear bomber that has been flying since the 1950s — attempting to take off at the Ukrainka airbase in the Amur region of Russia's Far East on June 8 last year.
Before taking flight, the aircraft's left wing erupts in a ball of flame, sending the bomber spiraling off the runway. Two of the bomber's five-man crew were reportedly killed during the incident, which prompted the Defense Ministry to temporarily ground its entire fleet of around 60 Tu-95 aircraft.
The incident was described by the Defense Ministry at the time in less dramatic terms: “The Tu-95 ran over the runway during acceleration. There was no ammunition on board. According to preliminary information, engine fire was the cause behind the accident,” it said in a statement cited by the TASS news agency.
The explosion was one of several crashes and losses of Russian military planes during summer last year. From early June to late July the Russian air force saw six aircraft crash in training exercises — including a second Tu-95, two MiG-29s, a Su-24 and a newer Su-34.