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Pilots of Crashed Russian Su-24 Bomber Confirmed Dead

© Sputnik / Denis Evstafev / Go to the photo bankSU-24 combat airplane
SU-24 combat airplane - Sputnik International
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The commission for the investigation of the Wednesday crash of a Su-24 tactical bomber found the bodies of the two pilots.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The pilots of the Russian Su-24 (Fencer) tactical bomber that crashed Wednesday in the country's southwest have been confirmed dead, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.

“The Russian Defense Ministry’s commission investigating the cause of the crash has found fragments of the crewmembers’ bodies at the crash site,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Su-24 crashed seven kilometers from the Marinovka airport near the southern city of Volgograd. There were two crewmen on board.

The Defense Ministry grounded all Su-24 flights until investigations unveil the cause of the deadly crash. A special commission is now working at the scene. It consists of an expert panel from the Russian Armed Forces' flight safety authority and the Air Force.

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Fragments of the crashed warplane were found scattered across an area of 4 hectares (almost 10 acres).

The Sukhoi Su-24 twin-engine frontline bomber was developed in the Soviet Union. Its modified version, Su-24M, entered service in 1983 and is still in use by some former Soviet states.

In 2010, the Russian Air Force decided to replace its Su-24s with modern Su-34s, with the full replacement to be completed by 2020.

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