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Russian helicopter crash in Siberia kills 18

04 August 2018

At least 18 people were killed in a helicopter crash in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia on Saturday, the aviation watchdog and emergency services said.

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

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

"It crashed 2 km to the south of the airport, immediately after takeoff", he said.

"According to preliminary information, the Mi-8 carrying passengers for reasons unknown collided with the external suspension of the second helicopter after take-off".

"The first take-off was carried out by a Mi-8 with an external cargo suspension without passengers on board, the second take-off was performed with passengers who were workers on shifts at the oil station", the ministry said in a statement. The criminal investigators of the Main Directorate of Criminalistics of Russia's Investigative Committee were sent to the scene, the committee said in a statement.

A spokesman for an emergency team set up to eliminate the aftermaths of the accident told TASS two flight recorders had been found at the site of the crash.

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

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 was manufactured in 2010.

Vankor is the region's largest oil field, operated by Russian oil company Rosneft.

The probe is likely to focus on pilot error.

Russian helicopter crash in Siberia kills 18