Russian Federation: 18 dead after helicopter crashes in northern Siberia

The helicopter crashed in the east of Russia

A Mi-8 helicopter with passengers on board has crashed in Krasnoyarsk Region, Siberia. "As a result of the crash of RA-25640, everyone died", the press service told Interfax in a statement.

"There were 18 people aboard the aircraft, including three crew members".

The crash occurred at 5:43 a.m. Moscow time on Saturday.

The second helicopter involved landed safely.

The helicopter that crashed was manufactured in 2010 and the pilot had almost 6,000 hours of experience, including 2,300 as a captain, the UTair statement said. "It crashed 2 km to the south of the airport, immediately after takeoff", he said.

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

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

The law enforcers said all the possible versions are under consideration including crew error and the equipment failure.

A spokesman for an emergency team found two flight recorders at the site of the crash.

The crash took place shortly after take-off, with the helicopter's fuel tanks full.

A task force was set up to establish the causes and conditions of the catastrophe, and the criminal investigators of Russia's Investigative Committee were sent to the scene, the committee said in a statement.

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