Russia Accidentally Bombs Its Own City newsusface

A Russian jet bombed a Russian city on Thursday night leaving three people injured and prompting emergency evacuations of residents, according to local reports.

An explosion in Belgorod—around 20 miles north of the border with Ukraine—was caused by what Moscow’s Defense Ministry described as “an emergency release of an air ordnance,” Russia’s TASS news agency reports. An Su-34 fighter-bomber was to blame, authorities said.

“At around 22:15 Moscow time on April 20, when a Su-34 plane of the Russian Aerospace Forces was performing a flight above the city of Belgorod, an emergency release of an air ordnance occurred,” the ministry was quoted as saying.

The Defense Ministry initially said there were no casualties. But that was contradicted by Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region, who said in a Telegram post on Friday morning that three people had been hurt by the blast.

Gladkov said one victim suffered a concussion and was diagnosed with a “craniocerebral injury,” but added their injuries were not life-threatening. Another refused hospital treatment, and “one elderly woman became ill, her blood pressure rose a lot.” “She was hospitalized and is now under medical supervision,” Gladkov wrote. “Thank God there are no dead.”

Gladkov also said workers with Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations evacuated the residents of a nine-story building who were sent to live with relatives or put up in hotel accommodation. He added that they will be given housing and food while restoration work is prepared on the building. “The inhabitants of Belgorod experienced severe trials last night,” Gladkov said. “Together, I think we will pass these tests.”

On Thursday, the governor said there was a “state of emergency” in Belgorod after the explosion left a 65-foot-wide crater at an intersection of one of the streets in the center of the city. As well as the apartment building, parked cars and power lines were damaged, Gladkov added.

Officials have not disclosed what type of munition was involved in the explosion. According to some local reports, the blast was powerful enough to throw a car onto the roof of a nearby convenience store.

In November, Russian state media reported that a “new batch” of Su-34 bombers had been delivered for use in the war against Ukraine and talked up how the planes would improve the “accuracy” of bombing missions. “The Su-34 bomber will constitute the basic strike power of Russian frontline aircraft,” the report said. “The upgraded Su-34 warplane features extended combat capabilities enabling it to employ advanced air-launched munitions, increase the range of striking ground and naval targets and expand the conditions and accuracy of bombing runs.”

Thursday’s apparent mishap comes after another Su-34 crashed into an apartment building in October in Yeysk, another city inside Russia close to Ukraine. Three children were among 15 people killed in the incident.

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