January 22, 2019 / 4:37 PM / 10 months ago

Nuclear-capable Russian bomber crashes amid snowstorm: Defence Ministry

A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber drops bombs during the Aviadarts competition, part of the International Army Games 2018, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A nuclear-capable Tupolev-22M3 supersonic bomber crashed while trying to land in a snowstorm on Tuesday in Russia’s far north, the Defence Ministry said, saying the aircraft did not have any weapons on board.

Two of the plane’s four-man crew died in the crash and a third later died of his wounds in hospital, Russian news agencies reported. The fourth crew member survived.

The accident happened in Russia’s Murmansk region when the Soviet-era plane tried to land at an airbase near the city of Olenegorsk in a fierce snowstorm and amid high winds.

The plane broke up on the tarmac and caught fire.

The Defence Ministry said it was investigating all possibilities, including a technical fault.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Gareth Jones

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