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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Grounds Cargo Planes

The Air Force has grounded its mainstay heavy-lift cargo planes following an accident in which an engine broke off a wing of one of the aircraft just before takeoff, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said the ban on all flights of Il-76 craft would be in place until investigators determine the reason behind Wednesday’s accident and check the fleet’s condition.

It was the latest in a string of accidents that has dogged the Air Force recently and means that airborne troops will be grounded until the ban is lifted.

The accident happened at the Severny air base outside the city of Ivanovo, 250 kilometers northeast of Moscow. One of the plane’s four jet engines broke off after the pilot engaged full throttle in preparation for takeoff. No one was hurt, a ministry spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with the office policy.

The Il-76 has been the mainstay of the Air Force since the 1970s. The plane has four engines mounted under its wings and is capable of carrying 40 metric tons of large cargo, such as armored vehicles.

Earlier this year, the Air Force announced that it had grounded all its fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets and had to launch costly repairs to make them safe to fly.