Russian Federation: 18 dead after helicopter crashes in northern Siberia

Russian Federation: 18 dead after helicopter crashes in northern Siberia

Kerry Wise
August 5, 2018

A Russian helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff in Siberia on Saturday, killing all 18 people aboard.

There were 15 passengers and three crew aboard, the airline said.

The Russian Transport Ministry, quoted by AFP news agency, said the second helicopter landed safely and the incident happened in "normal" weather conditions.

The helicopter fell apart and caught fire, according to the statement.

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.

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 worldwide destinations, mostly in the former Soviet republics.

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The chopper was reportedly taking workers to an oil well.

A commission has been set up to investigate the crash. The helicopter flew 2 kilometre before it crashed.

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

The Mi-8, flying at an altitude of about 328 feet, hooked rotor blades with the cargo of a Mi-26 helicopter of the same company flying nearby before the crash, a report on Investigative Committee's website said.

The Emergencies Ministry was sending over a group of An-74 and Be-200 aircraft and 25 people from regional search and rescue centres to the site of the crash, according to the Krasnoyarsk region branch of the ministry.