A Mi-8 helicopter has crashed in the north of Krasnoyarsk region, East Siberia, killing 18 people aboard, a source at the emergency services said.
TASS reported that the helicopter crashed after colliding midair with the cargo being carried by another helicopter.
“It crashed immediately after takeoff because of collision with the cargo carried by another helicopter that was also airborne at the moment,” a police source told TASS.
“There were three crew members and 15 passenger abroad the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline,” a source at Russia’s emergency services said.
“All of them died.”
A well-informed official in the law enforcement agencies told TASS the helicopter had taken off from the town of Igarka, located on the River Yenisei to the north of the Arctic Circle.
“It crashed 2 km to the south of the airport, immediately after takeoff,” he said.
Officials at the Krasnoyarsk regional branch of the federal Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense said the helicopter crash-landed 10:20 Siberian time (06:20 Moscow Standard Time, 03:20 UTC).
In the meantime, other law enforcers said the accident could be due to crew error and equipment failure.
A spokesman for an emergency team set up to eliminate the aftermaths of the accident told TASS two flight recorders had been found at the site of the crash.
“Both flight recorders have been found,” he said. “We’ll hand them to the experts of the Interstate Aviation Committee.”
Operatives and rescue teams were working at the site of the crash at the time this report went on wire.