Ter­ror as copter gun­ships fire on spec­ta­tors

Sunday Sport - - NEWS -

BY­STANDERS watch­ing mas­sive mil­i­tary ex­er­cises fled in ter­ror when they were FIRED ON by Soviet- era he­li­copter gun­ships.

Thousands had gath­ered to watch the Za­pad 2017 mil­i­tary ex­er­cises tak­ing place in west­ern Russia and neigh­bour­ing Be­larus.

Around 13,000 troops, hun­dreds of tanks, air­craft, war­ships and other mil­i­tary hard­ware were par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ma­noeu­vres.

The mishap took place at the Luzh­sky range, near St Petersburg.

An in­sider said there ap­peared to have been a tech­ni­cal glitch on board and “the missiles blasted off on their own” – which is be­lieved to be the se­cret Rus­sian code for “the pi­lots were drunk”.

The source added: “At least two cars burned down and two peo­ple were se­ri­ously in­jured.

“They were carted off to hos­pi­tal.”

The Rus­sian de­fence min­istry de­nied any­thing un­to­ward had oc­curred.

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