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Three crew died in an accident on a long range Russian nuclear bomber aircraft earlier today (23 March).
The ejector seat system was reported to have triggered while the plane was preparing for departure.
The cockpit horror came as the engines started ahead of a training flight involving the supersonic long range Tu-22M3 bombers.
It is not believed the plane was loaded with nuclear weapons during the accident which took place at Shaikovka military airfield which is 200 miles southwest of Moscow.
The regiment commander - sitting in the instructor's seat - was among those that died after the three were ejected from the plane shortly before intended take-off.
Earlier reports said that a squadron of Tupolev Tu-22M3 (NATO reporting name: Backfire-C) had been on a training exercise in Kaluga region.
The Russian defence minister confirmed the deaths of three crew members in the incident. It said the crew of a Tu-22M3 long-range bomber was preparing for a training mission when its ejection system malfunctioned and accidentally bailed the crew out.
The ministry said the altitude wasn't enough for the parachutes to open and the three crew members died of injuries. An official investigation into the incident has been launched.
According to The Sun, one of the people that tragically died was confirmed today as Vadim Beloslyudtsev, 48, commander of the Tu-22M3 nuclear strike forces.
Major Sultanov and flight training instructor Podsoblyaev also died.
Mr Beloslyudtsev was a senior officer who had flown 540 hours' worth of missions on the supersonic Tupolev planes before his promotion.
Earlier this month, a plane crashed into a moving vehicle near North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
According to Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue, both of the plane's passengers were pronounced dead at the scene.
A woman and young boy were travelling in the car when it was hit. Both were rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, however, it was later confirmed the boy died as a result of his injuries later that evening.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators said the plane had been forced to turn back shortly after take off and that an investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.
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