Airplane bomber targeted in-laws in Soviet attack

Airplane bomber targeted in-laws in Soviet attack

30 Jul, 03:26 PM

Russian security services have declassified information concerning an incident in the 1970-s, when a Soviet pilot crashed his plane into an apartment block, seeking to kill his in-laws, but killing three neighbors instead.

According to the report published on the web-site, the events happened in the city of Novosibirsk in 1976. On September 26, 24-year old Vladimir Serkov crashed his small AN-2 biplane into the residential building, killing himself and three more people and wounding seven more.

Investigators had established several weeks before the attack that the pilot had split with his wife. The woman took their 2-year old son and went to live with her parents. Serkov asked the in-laws to let him see his spouse and child, but they refused. Then he asked them to at least not file for divorce, as it would ruin his career, but was refused again.

Eventually, the strained aviator asked the airfield staff to prepare his plane for take off and, before closing the cockpit, told that they should look for him on Stepnaya street – the address of his in-laws. He then flew to the city, made two circles above the central square and rammed the apartment block on Stepnaya, aiming at the window of the kitchen where the family had breakfast every morning.

The plane missed the window in question, but it exploded on impact with the building and set fire to several apartments. Three people, including two small children, died in the ensuing blaze, and seven more were seriously injured. The pilot’s family and in-laws were not among the victims – they had left the building earlier in the morning.

Coroners also found out that Serkov died of heart failure seconds before the crash.   

Soviet authorities decided not to make the news public and the case was transferred to KGB investigators. Only this year it was sent to archives and Russian prosecutors let the media report about it.

Tags: terrorism, aircraft incidents, Soviet history

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