A Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic aircraft was destroyed in Stavropol Region after a combat mission, ministry said on Friday The Tu-223M crash site. © Telegram / Stavropol Region Governor Vladimir Vladimirov

A suspected technical failure has resulted in the crash of a Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range bomber in Russia, the Defense Ministry reported on Friday.

The incident in the southern Stavropol Region occurred as the aircraft was returning to its home base after a combat mission, the statement added. It did not carry munitions at the time.

The crew of the Tu-22 ejected. Two of them were rescued and their lives are not in danger, Governor Vladimir Vladimirov reported. A third member was killed in the incident, while a fourth remains unaccounted for.

The bomber fell in a field, according to images of the crash site shared by the governor. He said there were no casualties or damage on the ground.

Several videos are circulating online that purport to show the moment of the crash. A Tu-22 can be seen in them spiraling in the air and falling down, with fire erupting from its tail section.

The Ukrainian military has claimed the lost Russian aircraft as one of the military assets destroyed by its air defenses. Its military intelligence said that the Tu-22 was engaged when it was flying 300 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

The area of the incident is in the northwestern part of Stavropol Region, which borders two other parts of Russia, Rostov Region and the Republic of Kalmykia. (RT)