October 9 - The Press Association has reported that the Russian air force has grounded all its Ilyushin Il-76 heavy lift cargo planes for checks, after an accident in which an engine broke off the wing of an aircraft just before take-off.

It was the latest in a string of accidents that has dogged the Russian air force and raised questions about the condition of its Soviet-built fleet.

The PA reports that the Russian Defence ministry said that the ban on all flights of Il-76 craft will be in place until experts determine the reason behind Wednesday's accident and check the fleet's condition.

The Il-76 has been the mainstay of Soviet and Russian air force since the 1970s and is a key player in the commercial heavy lift aviation sector too.