MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - An Su-24 Fencer strike aircraft crashed Thursday in the Khabarovsk Territory in Russia's Far East, but both pilots successfully ejected from the plane, an Air Force spokesman said.
"An Su-24 aircraft crashed during a training flight at the Khurba airfield," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. "No damage to ground infrastructure or casualties have been reported."
"The crew has been hospitalized at a local military hospital," he said, adding that both pilots were in a satisfactory condition.
Drobyshevsky said two Mi-8 rescue helicopters took off from the airfield immediately after communications with the aircraft were lost. Rescuers spotted the wreck and the pilots about 115 kilometers (70 miles) southeast of the airfield.
Military prosecutors have launched an investigation. Prosecutors said technical failure was the most likely cause of the crash.
The Su-24 is a two-seater, twin-engined strike aircraft similar to NATO's Tornado and Mirage 2000 planes. The aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force since the mid-1970s and is currently being replaced with advanced Su-34 Fullback tactical bombers.
Last year, flights of Su-24 were suspended twice following three crashes in various regions of Russia. Two pilots were killed in the latest crash in western Russia in July 2006.