Probe opens after Russian helicopter crash kills 18

In 2016, 19 people died when a Mi-8 helicopter carrying oil and gas field workers crashed in a remote area of Siberia.

Eighteen people died in Russian Federation on Saturday morning when a helicopter crashed on its way to an oil station in the north Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk, local television network RT reported.

"There were three crew members and 15 passengers overseas the Mi-8 that belonged to Utair airline", an emergency services official told TASS news agency.

The helicopter with cargo landed safely after the crew dropped the external suspension, it added.

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The incident occurred when a Russian-made Mi-8 aircraft knocked into the cargo of an adjacent helicopter as both were completing take-off in the Krasnoyarsk region, watchdog Rosaviatsia says.

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"After take-off, according to early reports, the Mi-8 carrying passengers knocked into the external cargo of the other helicopter, for reasons unknown".

The helicopter fell apart and caught fire, according to the statement.

Russia's transport ministry said it created a commission to investigate the crash and that the vice director of the Federal Air Transport Agency was on his way to the site.

The helicopters' black boxes were recovered, appear undamaged, and will be sent to Moscow as part of the investigation, TASS reported.

Fifteen passengers and three crew members aboard the helicopter were killed, a source at the emergency services told the state-owned TASS news agency.

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