Russian pilots eject from burning fighter jet on tarmac, hospitalized with injuries

Two pilots were injured as they ejected from a Russian fighter jet that had caught fire while landing Wednesday at an air base northwest of Moscow, the Air Force said.

Both the MiG-31's engines were on fire after the plane touched down at the Khatilovo air field in the Tver region, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of the Russian capital, and investigators were trying to determine the cause, spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky.

The two pilots were hospitalized with various injuries but were in satisfactory condition, Drobyshevsky said.

The Interfax-Military News Agency said that preliminary information indicated the plane's tail had hit the runway, which caused the engines to catch fire.

It was the third Russian fighter jet to have been destroyed in less than a month, the news agency pointed out. A MiG-29 crashed in the Tver region on May 12 and an Su-25 crashed in Tajikistan on May 21.

All further MiG-31 flights have been suspended pending an investigation of Wednesday's incident, Interfax quoted Drobyshevsky as saying.

Associated Press