18 dead in helicopter crash in Russian Federation

The hole in ground that appeared in Russia

Russian helicopter crashes, deaths feared

Eighteen people were killed when a helicopter crashed shortly after take-off in Siberia when its rotor blades collided with another aircraft.

"There were three crewmembers and 15 passenger overseas the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline", 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 doomed helicopter, operated by aviation company Utair, was carrying 15 oil workers and three crew.

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

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.

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

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The dead were working for a subsidiary of oil giant Rosneft in the remote Vankor oil field, which is above the Arctic Circle.

The helicopter's black box flight recorders have been recovered and appear undamaged, Russian news agency TASS quoted law enforcement agencies as saying.

All 18 people on board have died in the crash.

The Russian government has set up a commission and begun investigations into the air crash.

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