Eighteen dead as Russian helicopter crashes soon after take-off

  • Eighteen dead as Russian helicopter crashes soon after take-off

Eighteen dead as Russian helicopter crashes soon after take-off

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

"There were three crew members and 15 passengers overseas the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline", an emergency services official told TASS news agency.

In Russia, the helicopter operator predominantly works with oil and gas companies, transporting people and cargo for clients including Gazprom, Shell and Rosneft.

It is believed the helicopter was taking workers to an oil well.

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

The second helicopter had no passengers on board and managed to land safely.

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.

Both black boxes of the helicopter were found, a source in regional emergency services was quoted by Sputnik news agency as saying, adding that the recorders were in a satisfactory condition.

Accidents involving helicopters and small planes are frequent in Siberia and far eastern Russian Federation, where air transport is commonly used to cover vast distances.

A picture of a Russian helicopter MI-8, the same type that crashed on its way to an oil station in Siberia.

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

Utair has launched its own investigation of the Siberian crash and offered its condolences to families of the deceased.