18 killed in Russian helicopter crash in Siberia

The Mi-8 helicopter performed a hard landing in Turukhansk district

Eighteen people were killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, authorities said.

The Mi-8 helicopter, operated by Russia's national airline Utair, was carrying three crew members and 15 passengers, the country's transport ministry said.

Fifteen passengers and three crew members aboard the helicopter were killed, a source at the emergency services told the state-owned TASS news agency.

The second helicopter involved landed safely. "As a result it fell, was destroyed and burned", it added.

UTair, one of Russia's largest airlines, operates an extensive fleet of helicopters serving Siberian oil fields as well as fixed-wing flights within Russian Federation and to global destinations, mostly in former Soviet republics.

The incident occurred when a Russian-made Mi-8 aircraft knocked into the cargo of an adjacent helicopter as both were completing take-off in the Krasnoyarsk region, watchdog Rosaviatsia says.

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'The Mi-8AMT carrying passengers-shift workers-to an oil pumping station was the second to takeoff'.

The ministry added that it had set up a commission to investigate the crash.

Helicopters frequently carry loads in slings that hang below the craft.

"He flew 5,990 hours, 2,300 of which he was the helicopter commander", Utair's statement said.

All 18 people on board have died in the crash.

The Mi-8 crashed to the ground seconds after takeoff and exploded in an inferno in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russian Federation.

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