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UPDATE-2: Russian warplane crashes over Lithuania, pilot ejects - ministry


MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Su-27 (Flanker) warplane crashed over Lithuania today, but the pilot ejected from the aircraft, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry said that according to their information two Russian warplanes had collided in mid-air but gave no details. There was no comment from the Russian Defense Ministry on this information so far.

The Russian ministry said the plane had crashed when a group of planes from the 6th air force and air defense army was flying toward an airfield outside Kaliningrad, Russia's exclave on the Baltic Sea.

"During the flight, one pilot reported that he had lost course (possibly due to navigation equipment failure)," the ministry said.

The ministry said the pilot had ejected after the plane ran out of fuel at 4p.m., the ejected. It said he was alive and landed 55 kilometers (about 35 miles) north of Kaunas, Lithuania's second city.

According to preliminary reports, no one was hurt in the crash and no major damage was inflicted.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has instructed the commander of the 6th army to contact the Lithuanian side and fly to the crash site to establish the causes of the accident, the ministry said.

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