The Russian city of Belgorod was forced to evacuate more than 3,000 people from their homes after an undetonated explosive was found. Officials scrambled to rush civilians from their houses after it emerged that there was a second, unexploded bomb that dropped earlier this week. It comes two days after Russia accidentally dropped a bomb on the same city, damaging houses and injuring several people.
It is believed that the bomb discovered came from the same aircraft – a Russian Sukhoi-34 fighter-jet.
Local reports in Russia said the unexploded bomb hit and damaged a building before being lodged underground.
The local governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, confirmed on Telegram that 17 apartment buildings had to be cordoned off “within a radius of 200 meters”.
Mr. Gladkov said that Defense Ministry explosives technicians had discovered an aerial bomb on a city street.
He later added that the bomb had been destroyed and removed from the area.
The undetonated bomb was found in the same area as the accidental bombing on Thursday evening.
The blast left a huge crater about 20 meters wide close to the city center, which lies just 25 miles from the Ukrainian border.
Following the incident on Thursday evening, the Russian ministry was forced to admit that a Russian warplane had “accidentally” discharged a bomb over the city.
The explosion was so large that it blew a car onto the roof of a nearby shop.
The discovery of the second bomb prompted social media reactions from Ukrainians.
Government advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted: “The current situation in Belgorod where a second Russian bomb was found and several thousand locals are evacuated from 17 residential buildings nearby.
“It seems Russians have started a counteroffensive against themselves.”
@Tendar, who monitors the conflict, added: “The Russian authorities were initially denying that a second bomb (probably a FAB-500M62 with 300kg payload) came down on Belgorod.”
NEXTA TV tweeted: “Bomb in #Belgorod is being dug up with shovels.
“The day before, journalist Nikita Parmenov warned that two bombs had fallen in the city, and the authorities were deliberately hiding this.”
Russian jets regularly fly over Belgorod, a city of more than 400,000, on their way to Ukraine.
Belgorod has come under occasional Ukrainian attacks since the invasion last year.
The city was one of the Russian troops’ staging areas in the run-up to the invasion.