At least 13 people have died after a Russian warplane crashed into an apartment building in a Russian city.

A Su-34 bomber crashed in the southern port city of Yeysk after one of its engines caught fire while taking off for a training mission, the Russian ministry said of the defense.

He said both crew members ejected, but the plane crashed in a residential area, causing a fire as tons of fuel exploded on impact.

Authorities said 13 residents, including three children, were found dead after hours of searching through building debris.

19 other people were hospitalized with injuries.

Footage posted to Russian messaging app channels showed a plane exploding in a massive fireball, as the building was engulfed in flames.

The region’s deputy governor, Anna Menkova, said three of the four victims died jumping from the upper floors of the nine-story building in an attempt to escape the flames, according to the RIA-Novosti news agency.

More than 500 residents were evacuated and temporarily housed.

People gather near the crash scene on Tuesday. Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Photo: AP

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed of the crash and dispatched health and emergency ministers and the local governor to the site.

Yeysk, a city of 90,000 people, is home to a large Russian air base.

The Su-34 is a supersonic twin-engine bomber with sophisticated sensors and weapons that has been a key strike element of the Russian Air Force.

A soldier stands next to wreckage at the scene of a crashed warplane in a residential area of ​​Yeysk, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. A Russian warplane crashed in the area of a Russian town on the Sea of ​​Azov after suffering engine failure, resulting in a number of fatalities and injuries.  (AP Photo)
A soldier stands next to the wreckage at the scene. Photo: AP

The aircraft was widely used by Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

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Monday’s crash marked the 10th reported crash of a non-combat Russian warplane since Moscow invaded Ukraine nearly eight months ago.

Military experts noted that as the number of Russian military flights increased sharply during the fighting, accidents also increased.

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