A nuclear-capable bomber crashed in Arctic Russia amid a snowstorm, Defense Ministry says

The plane crashed while attempting to land in high winds during a snowstorm at an airbase near Olenegorsk.

By Reuters - January 23, 2019
A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber drops bombs during the Aviadarts competition, part of the International Army Games 2018, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 4, 2018. (Maxim Shemetov / Reuters file photo)

MOSCOW — A nuclear-capable Tupolev-22M3 supersonic bomber crashed while trying to land in a snowstorm on Tuesday in Russia’s far north, the Defense Ministry said, saying the aircraft did not have any weapons on board.

Two of the plane’s four-man crew died in the crash and a third later died of his wounds in hospital, Russian news agencies reported. The fourth crew member survived.

The accident happened in Russia’s Murmansk region when the Soviet-era plane tried to land at an airbase near the city of Olenegorsk in a fierce snowstorm and amid high winds.

The plane broke up on the tarmac and caught fire.

The Defense Ministry said it was investigating all possibilities, including a technical fault.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn.