Three Russian pilots killed by faulty ejection seats in nuclear-capable bomber

Three members of a Russian warplane crew passed away Tuesday when their ejection seats unexpectedly activated during preflight checks, the military announced.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the incident occurred on Tuesday at a military airbase in the Kaluga region, approximately145 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Moscow.

It said the crew of a Tu-22M3 long-range bomber was planning for a training mission when its ejection system failed and accidentally bailed the crew out. The ministry said the altitude was not enough for the parachutes to open and the three crew members died of injuries.

An official inquiry into the incident has been launched.

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