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    RUSSIAN FIGHTER CRASHES IN THE FAR EAST

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 12, 2004, /RIA NOVOSTI/ -- A Sukhoi Su-24 fighter serving with the Russian Air Force crashed at 6.52 a.m. Moscow time today at the Khurba airfield near Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Khabarovsk territory (Russian Far East).

    This was disclosed here today by Alexander Drobyshevsky, chief of the Russian Air Force's press center.

    According to Drobyshevsky, the pilots, who managed to eject, and who were subsequently picked up by rescue teams, are quite safe.

    Preliminary reports point to engine malfunctions, Drobyshevsky added.

    A board of inquiry has already been established.

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