A video captured by eyewitnesses showed the moment when a military transport plane linked to Russian mercenary group Wagner leaves the runway and explodes after landing on Mali.
The accident occurred last Saturday, September 23, just a month after the accident in which he died. Yevgeny Prigozhinformer mercenary leader who dared to revolt against the Russian Ministry of Defense and died after the aircraft in which he was traveling near Moscow crashed.
This time it happened in Gao International Airport from Mali. In the filming you can see the plane, a Ilyushin Il-76 of Soviet manufacture, moving past the end of the runway, before crossing a perimeter road and descending an embankment. An explosion and a thick column of black smoke followed.
The number of occupants on board the flight has not been revealed, although it has been reported that a Russian pilot was among the fatalitiesaccording to Aviation Source News. There are unconfirmed reports suggesting that On board were 140 mercenaries from the Wagner Group..
According to the files of the Air Accident Officethe aircraft ended up crashing into a ravine located about 500 meters after the end of the runwaybefore bursting into flames.
The report points out a unknown number of victimsbut it also indicates that some people were rescued. The exact number of victims and survivors is unclear.
As seen in photos of the crash site shared by open source intelligence analysts, The plane was almost completely destroyed after crashing.
According to the same sources, the accident would also have caused the destruction of military material loaded on the plane, such as Chinese-made VP11 MRAP armored vehicles.
Airport sources indicated that, according to the first indications, the plane had crashed due to landing problems.
The plane involved was a Ilyushin Il-76tuition TZ-98Tbelonging to the Mali Air Force. The aircraft is believed to have previously belonged to the Wagner Group and was delivered to the Air Force approximately a week before the crash.
The aircraft had arrived from Minsk (Belarus), Wagner’s new headquarters after the group was expelled from Russia after the failed mutiny against the Kremlin at the end of June.
Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, died along with other senior officers of the powerful paramilitary group in a suspicious plane crash occurred on the outskirts of Moscow on August 23.
Maligoverned by a military junta after two coups d’état, is in a very delicate security situationwith terrorist groups operating in practically all of its territory and an open conflict between the government and the secessionists in the northern part of the Azawad.
In this situation, the UN mission, Minusmais completing its withdrawal from the country at the request of the military junta, which Instead, it approaches Russia to provide itself with weapons and fight against terrorismhiring the Wagner mercenary group for this purpose.
(With information from Reuters and EFE)