MOSCOW: A Russian military helicopter gunship accidentally fired on spectators during war games in western Russia, injuring several people, news reports said Tuesday.
The Russian military acknowledged that a helicopter accidentally fired a rocket during drills, but did not say when and where it happened. It insisted that no one was hurt in the incident.
The video released on the online 66.ru, RBC and Life.ru news portals showed a pair of Ka-52 helicopter gunships sweeping low at the Luzhsky range, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the border with Estonia, during the Zapad (West) 2017 maneuvers. The video showed one of the helicopters firing a rocket that explodes next to a spectator on a parking lot.
66.ru said Tuesday two people were seriously wounded and two vehicles were destroyed in the incident. It said the accident happened Sunday or Monday, and that the video was provided by an unidentified witness.
Life.ru said the rocket exploded near a crowd of journalists, military experts and foreign military attach.
It said a preliminary investigation by military officials indicated the incident was caused by a short-circuit in the helicopter’s electric system that resulted in the accidental launch of the rocket. Life.ru also posted a cockpit video, showing the rocket’s impact.