A Russian military transport plane with 15 people on board has crashed on takeoff, officials say

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian military transport plane with 15 people on board crashed on Tuesday while taking off from an air base in western Russia, the Defense Ministry said.

It said the Il-76 aircraft with eight crew and seven passengers crashed in the Ivanovo region. It didn't say whether there were any survivors.

Ivanovo Gov. Stanislav Voskresensky offered condolences to the victims' families. He said there was no damage on the ground.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that an engine fire during takeoff was the likely cause of the crash. It said a team of investigators flew to Ivanovo to conduct a probe.

Russian media broadcast a video showing the aircraft heading down with at least one of its engines ablaze.

The four-engine Il-76 is a heavy-lift transport plane that has been in service since the 1970s with the Soviet and then Russian air force.

Tuesday’s crash came on a day when the Defense Ministry reported dozens of attacks on Russia by Ukrainian drones. In the past, Ukrainian drones hit some military air bases deep inside Russia.

Military experts have noted that as the number of Russian military flights increased sharply during the fighting in Ukraine, so has the number of crashes.