On the night of October 19-20, a military transport aircraft Il-76MD of the Russian Aerospace Forces caught fire at a military airfield in Ayni, 10 km west of Dushanbe.
Video recording of the plane fire was sent by Radio Ozodi users. According to them, the incident occurred at the Ayni air base, known as Hissar air base.
Attempts by Radio Ozodi to obtain a comment from the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan were unsuccessful; on October 21, no one answered the telephone number of the press service of this ministry. The official Russian media did not publish any information on this matter.
At the same time, the Baza telegram channel, close to Russian government sources, reported that on the night of Thursday to Friday, a fire broke out at a military airfield on the outskirts of the Tajik capital. According to this telegram channel, the Russian military transport aircraft Il-76MD caught fire during takeoff.
“According to preliminary data, on the night of October 19-20, a wheel on the plane exploded during acceleration, after which a fire started. The plane skidded off the runway and completely burned out,” the channel initially reported at 10:38 p.m.
15 minutes later, Baza additionally reported that “the preliminary cause of the fire in the Russian Il-76MD aircraft at the airfield in Dushanbe was the destruction of the wheel pneumatics during acceleration with subsequent entry of elements into the engine. It was because of this that the fire started in the engine. The plane skidded off the runway. The crew evacuated.”
According to the source, there were 8 people on the plane at the time, but no one was injured.
It is unclear how the passengers and crew managed to escape from the burning plane.
Il-76, which first took off on March 25, 1971, is one of the first heavy military transport aircraft in the USSR. The aircraft was designed at the Ilyushin Design Bureau and in Soviet times was mass-produced in Uzbekistan at the Tashkent Aviation Production Association named after V.P. Chkalov . Since 2010, production of these aircraft has been moved to Ulyanovsk, Russia.
With a load of 60 tons, the aircraft can transport cargo over a distance of up to 4,200 kilometers, without load – 9,700 km. Typically, such aircraft are used for interregional transportation of troops, heavy large-sized equipment and cargo, as well as airdropping of personnel, equipment and cargo by parachute and landing.
The 201st Russian military base is located in Tajikistan, and based on an intergovernmental agreement, military aircraft and helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces have the right to use the Ayni airfield.
Source : Ozodi