The Russian aviation watchdog and emergency services “Rosaviatsia” said that eighteen people were killed in a helicopter crash in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia on Saturday August 4th.
Rosaviatsia stated that the passengers, workers heading to their shift at an oil-pumping station, and three crew members died when the Russian Mi-8 aircraft knocked into the cargo of an adjacent helicopter as both were completing take off.
The incident occurred in the Vankor Field area in eastern Siberia, the watchdog said, at around 0200 GMT.
According to Reuters, the watchdog stated, “A Mi-8 helicopter which was carrying external suspended cargo and no passengers completed take-off first. Second to take off was a Mi-8 helicopter carrying passengers. After take-off, according to early reports, the Mi-8 carrying passengers knocked into the external cargo of the other helicopter, for reasons unknown. As a result, it fell, broke apart and caught fire.”
TASS news agency, citing law enforcement agencies, said that the helicopters’ black boxes have been recovered, appear undamaged and will be sent to Moscow as part of an investigation. The other helicopter landed safely after the incident. The two aircraft were owned by UTair-Helicopter Services, a unit of Russian airline UTair.