Russian helicopter crash in Siberia kills 18

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

"There were three crewmembers and 15 passenger overseas the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline", he said.

Everyone on board - three crew members and 15 passengers - was killed.

The second aircraft landed safely and the accident took place in "normal" weather conditions, according to preliminary findings.

UTair, one of Russia's largest airlines, operates an extensive fleet of helicopters serving Siberian oil fields as well as fixed-wing flights within Russian Federation and to global destinations, mostly in the former Soviet republics.

"The second take-off was performed with passengers who were workers on shifts at the oil station".

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

'Utair's Mi-8 helicopter 25640 was flying from Vankor to Kharkasale, ' said an spokesman for Russia's emergencies ministry.

Russian news reports said all the passengers killed are believed to have been working for a subsidiary of the state oil company Rosneft.

Helicopters frequently carry loads in slings that hang below the craft.

Eighteen people have died in the crash.

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

Smoke rises from a crash side of a Russian helicopter Mi-8 which crashed shortly after takeoff in Vankor, above the Arctic Circle in Siberia, Russia, on August 4, 2018.

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