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MiG-31 crashes in Kazakhstan, killing pilot

April 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, April 24 (UPI) -- Kazakhstan's Defense Ministry said Wednesday a technical failure caused the crash of a Kazakhstan Air Force Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor on a training mission.

The jet went down near the village of Prostornoye in the Karaganda region Tuesday night, killing the pilot and injuring the navigator, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

A statement issued by the Military Prosecutor's Office said the crew managed to eject from the aircraft before it crashed.

The Defense Ministry blamed the crash on a "technical failure" and said it has opened a criminal investigation for "violation of flight rules and flight preparation."

The MiG-31, the world's fastest military aircraft in service, is designed to intercept enemy aircraft at long distances. It is operated by Kazakhstan and Russia.

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