MOSCOW (AP) - The Defense Ministry says one of its military jets has crashed while trying to land in southern Russia, but both crewmembers bailed out safely.

Ministry spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov said the Su-24 bomber - on a regular training mission- crashed Thursday as it attempted to land at the Marinovka air base in the Volgograd region, some 870 kilometers (540 miles) south of Moscow.

He said both crewmembers ejected to safety, and the plane caught fire on landing and then burnt up.

The twin-engined Su-24 has been an important component of the Soviet and then Russian air force since the 1970s.