The pilots of a Russian Sukhoi-30SM were killed when the fighter jet crashed in Syria shortly after takeoff on Thursday, May 3, the Russian Ministry of Defence said.
The plane crashed over the Mediterranean Sea at 6:45 a.m. GMT, shortly after taking off from Hmeimim air base in Syria’s western Latakia governorate, Interfax reported the ministry as saying.
“As follows from an onsite report, both pilots tried to keep the plane under control till the last moment. Both died,” the ministry said.
The ministry said the Su-30 was not shot down, and a bird in the engine is the suspected cause of the crash.
The crash comes less than two months after Russian Antonov-26 transport plane crashed at Hmeimim air base, killing all 32 people on board. In October, a Russian Su-24 ground attack plane crashed at Hmeimim as it was accelerating for takeoff. The crew failed to eject and were killed, the defense ministry said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.