A Russian warplane has accidentally fired a weapon into the city of Belgorod near Ukraine, causing an explosion and damaging buildings, the Tass news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying.
Late on Thursday, local authorities reported a large blast in the city, which lies just across the border from Ukraine. The regional governor said two women had been injured.
“As a Sukhoi Su-34 air force plane was flying over the city of Belgorod there was an accidental discharge of aviation ammunition,” the defence ministry said, according to Tass.
Belgorod’s regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announcing a state of emergency, said on Telegram there was a crater measuring 20 metres (65ft) across on one of the main streets. Four cars and four apartment buildings were damaged, he added.
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The defence ministry did not say what kind of weapon was involved. The Su-34 is a supersonic fighter-bomber jet. The ministry said some buildings had been damaged and announced an investigation was already underway, according to Tass.
Video footage from the site showed piles of concrete on the street, several damaged cars and a building with broken windows. One shot showed what appeared to be a car upside down on the roof of a store.
The Belgorod region is one of several parts of southern Russia where targets such as fuel and ammunition stores have been rocked by explosions since the start of what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine in February 2022.