Russian helicopter crash in northern Siberia kills 18 - ministry

Russia 18 dead after helicopter crashes in northern Siberia

A Russian airline helicopter has crashed shortly take-off killing 18 people.

Russian news reports said all the passengers killed are believed to have been working for a subsidiary of the state oil company Rosneft.

The Interstate Aviation Committee, which oversees civil aviation in much of the former Soviet Union, said the Mi-8 helicopter collided with the load being carried by another helicopter.

In a statement issued on its website, Utair said the crash took place at 05:43 Moscow time (0243 GMT) after taking off from a helipad at the Vankor oil and gas field, in the Turuhansk district of the Krasnoyarsk region.

Investigators will inquire into the incident, a local official told RIA Novosti, naming technical issues or pilot error among the most probable causes of the crash.

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The helicopter fell apart and caught fire, according to the statement. The helicopter flew 2 kilometre before it crashed. A criminal investigation is under way.

'Utair's Mi-8 helicopter 25640 was flying from Vankor to Kharkasale, ' said an spokesman for Russia's emergencies ministry.

The helicopter with cargo landed safely after the crew dropped the external suspension, it added. Meanwhile, black boxes from the Mi-8 have already been retrieved from the crash site, but their condition is yet unclear.

In 2016, 19 people died when another Mi-8 carrying oil workers crashed in a remote area of Siberia.

Eighteen people have been killed in a horrific helicopter crash after its blades hit cargo hanging off another helicopter.

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