Yemenis surround one of the tyres of a Russian-made Yemeni military jet after it crashed in the capital Sanaa on May 13.

Story highlights

The plane crashed into a residential neighborhood

The pilot was killed, and at least 18 people on the ground were injured

Several buildings caught fire after the crash

It is the third fatal crash in Sanaa in the past year

CNN  — 

A Yemeni military plane crashed into a residential area of the capital Monday, killing the pilot and injuring at least 18 people on the ground, the Yemeni government said.

The government would not confirm the death toll. It was unclear how many people were aboard the plane.

The Russian-made Sukhoi Su-22, a fighter jet, was on a training mission when it crashed in southern Sanaa, Yemeni state TV reported.

Three houses and a four-story building caught fire after the crash, and the fire was spreading. Firefighters later managed to extinguish the fire in the four-story building, state TV said.

The Defense Ministry said a mechanical fault caused the crash and the jet was not shot down.

It was the third fatal air crash in Sanaa in the past year.

In February, a military fighter jet on a training mission went down in a residential section of Sanaa, killing at least 10 people and injuring 21. At least one of the missiles the plane was carrying exploded in that crash.

Last November, a military cargo plane caught fire and crashed in the city, killing 10 people.

Journalist Hakim Almasmari in Sanaa and CNN’s Yousuf Basil in Atlanta contributed to this report.