A video has emerged reportedly showing a Russian attack helicopter accidentally striking spectators while taking part in the Zapad 2017 military exercise.
According to an unofficial source, two journalists were hospitalised with serious injuries and two vehicles were damaged/destroyed due to a weapons malfunction aboard the Russian attack helicopter.
There has been no official report from the Russian military yet.
It is understood that one of the pair of Ka-52 attack helicopters flying in an attack formation accidentally fired a rocket toward the crowd that gathered at the Luzhsky training ground near St. Petersburg, according to local media outlet 66.ru.
The sites unnamed source suggested that the launch of air-to-ground missiles occurred accidentally due to technical malfunctions:
“They were flying engaged on target, there was some 500 metres left to it and the weapon chains got locked on the mission’s attack route, they turned on, but there was some kind of a short circuit and missiles were launched without command.
Missile fragments projected across a wide area. At least two vehicles were burnt down, two people were seriously injured, now they are at the hospital. Most probably, it was journalists who got hit.”
Zapad, which means “west” in Russian, is the reincarnation of a Soviet-era training exercise that involved Warsaw Pact countries, and is carried out every four years.
Ka-52 helicopter accidentally fires two S-8 rockets (hardware malfunction) at the reporters covering Russian Zapad 2017 drills pic.twitter.com/kPET4pThn1
— Warfare Worldwide (@WarfareWW) September 19, 2017