Russian Federation: 18 killed in Siberian oil worker helicopter crash

The helicopter crashed in the east of Russia

A Mi-8 helicopter has crashed in the north of Krasnoyarsk region, East Siberia, killing 18 people aboard, a source at the emergency services told TASS.

The helicopter, operated by Utair airline, was carrying 15 passengers and three crew members, all of whom have been confirmed dead.

"He flew 5,990 hours, 2,300 of which he was the helicopter commander", Utair's statement said.

Russian air safety has improved since the 1990s, when poor aircraft maintenance, pilot training and official oversight in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in a high number of crashes.

The aircraft collided with the cargo of another helicopter as it was taking off on Saturday morning, according to Russia's aviation watchdog. 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.

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The Criminal Investigation Department of Russian Federation continues to investigate the crash under the criminal code for violation of safety rules that resulted in the death of two or more persons by negligence, Kommersant reported.

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

The Mi-8 helicopter crashed in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.

In April, a Mi-8 helicopter crashed in far eastern Russian Federation, killing six people.

It added that the second helicopter landed safely and that the accident took place in "normal" weather conditions.

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