A Russian warplane accidentally dropped a bomb on a its own city of more than 400,000 people late Thursday, April 20 leaving a crater 40 meters (130 feet) across, blowing a car onto a roof and damaging buildings in what Russian state media called an “emergency release of an air ordnance.”
A Russian Su-34 aircraft, a twin-engine fighter-bomber, released the bomb over the city of Belgorod, 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) north of the border with Ukraine, according to reports from state news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS.
“At around 22:15 Moscow time on April 20, when a Su-34 plane of the Russian Aerospace Forces was performing a flight above the city of Belgorod, an emergency release of an air ordnance occurred,” TASS quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.
“It happened at the intersection of one of the central streets, leaving a huge impact crater with a radius of 20 meters,” Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, said in a Telegram post.
An overturned car landed on the roof of a store, according to RIA Novosti.
Belgorod Mayor Valentin Demidov wrote on his Telegram channel that several apartment buildings were damaged in the blast.
Two people were reported injured in the explosion, Gladkov added.
Russian state media boasted about the country’s Su-34 warplanes last December, when it said a “new batch of … frontline bombers” had been delivered to Russian forces to use against Ukraine. It did not give a specific number of planes delivered.
“The Su-34 bomber will constitute the basic strike power of Russian frontline aircraft. The upgraded Su-34 warplane features extended combat capabilities enabling it to employ advanced air-launched munitions, increase the range of striking ground and naval targets and expand the conditions and accuracy of bombing runs,” a TASS report at the time said.
The planes can carry a variety of munitions, including air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, as well as guided and unguided bombs.
The Belgorod region has been the scene of several explosions and bombings since Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022.