A RUSSIAN military plane has crashed in the west of the country killing four people.
The Ilyushin-76 aircraft reportedly burst in flames before crash-landing in a field, sparking a major emergency response.
A fiery inferno was seen at the crash site in Ryazan, southeast of Moscow.
The plane is said to have burst into flames mid-air and circled for a period before crash landing.
Dramatic video shows the burning plane plummeting to earth as a blazing fireball.
As it crashes behind a row of residential tower blocks, flames and an enormous plume of black smoke rise into the sky.
In the video, the voices of eyewitnesses are heard as they watch the stricken aircraft.
“It’s all in flames, look,” one voice says. “It’s flying at us.”
Another says: “So scary, it’s flying at us. It’s going to hit the houses, look.”
The pilot appeared to be attempting an emergency landing of the blazing plane.
Although the crash site was close to shops and residential buildings, the pilot managed to avoid any casualties on the ground.
It was believed to be en route to the war in Ukraine with nine on board after refueling in Ryazan when it crashed.
Three passengers died in the crash while the survivors were rushed to hospital after being dragged from the blazing wreckage.
A fourth died in hospital while a further five are said to be in a “grave” condition.
The plane is said to have set off from Orenburg in Belgorod before stopping to refuel in Ryazan, a key base for Russian paratroopers 125 miles southeast of Moscow.
It isn’t clear yet what equipment the plane was carrying when it crashed.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
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