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Russian supersonic bomber crashes

Four crew members are missing after a supersonic bomber crashed during a test flight in central Russia.

Officials said the 1,250 mph Tu-160 Blackjack, designed to deliver nuclear and conventional weapons deep into enemy territory, crashed in the Saratov region, about 450 miles south-east of Moscow.

No weapons were on board, said officials who blamed the the crash on engine problems. The plane was being tested following the replacement of one of its engines.

"Just before the crash at 0730 BST, the crew informed ground control of an engine fire," an official said. "After that, contact with the pilots was cut off and the bomber crashed to the ground at approximately 0800 BST."

Associated Press

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