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Russia grounds Su-24 bombers after fire

Nov. 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Russia announced it had grounded its Su-24 bomber fleet Saturday after one of the frontline warplanes caught fire while taking off at an airbase.

Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander of the Russian Air Force, said the plane failed to get airborne and rolled off the runway at the Morozovsk air base in Rostov Region shortly after midnight.

The two crew members, who had been slated for a training flight, ejected when the plane's fuel tanks caught fire. The Defense Ministry said the airmen were in "satisfactory" condition.

The Su-24 is an all-weather bomber capable of delivering bombs and rockets to a target from low altitudes, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

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