A giant plane believed to be part of the Russian military fleet went up in flame as it took off from an airbase while reportedly carrying a mystery cargo.
A brief clip seemingly shows the massive aircraft engulfed in a huge blaze, which exploded as it was still on the runway.
The flames are believed to have spread from one of the engines of the vehicle, thought to be a Il-76 plane.
As it rolled off the runway at the Ayni Air Force Base, the blaze took over the whole 72-tonne aircraft.
The crewmembers and passengers aboard the jet at the time of the incident, believed to amount to eight people, managed to escape.
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While the registration number of the aircraft is not believed to have been disclosed, the plane is thought to be the RF-86900 previously used to supply via Belarus, one of Moscow’s closest the Russia’s, the invasion of Ukraine.
A source speculated the jet may have belonged to Vladimir Putin’s elite Pskov-based airborne troops – accused of taking part in the harrowing cleansing operations against civilians in Bucha in 2022.
The insider claimed the nature of the cargo is being kept from the public due to “wartime political reasons”.
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They added: “If it’s Pskov regiment then it’s a real disaster – we have lost five already.”
Also known as Gissar Air Base, Ayni is in Tajikistan, located some 10 kilometres west of the former Soviet nation’s capital Dushanbe.
Despite being outside of Russia’s borders and India renovating the airfield in 2011, it has been used over the years by Moscow.
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If the type of the aircraft was confirmed, this would not be the first incident involving an Il-76 plane in recent weeks.
In September, an Il-76 jet was filmed landing on a runway in Mali and exploding into a fireball.
Il-76 is a multi-purpose, four-engine airlifter created for the delivery of supplies and personnel.
Designed in the late 1960s, its commercial version was developed to deliver heavy machinery to remote, poorly served areas, while its military counterpart has been used in a number of missions, including aerial refuelling.
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