Russian helicopter crash in northern Siberia kills 18

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The helicopter is thought to have been taking workers to an oil well, when the crash occurred shortly after take-off.

A Mi-8 helicopter crashed in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, East Siberia, killing 18 people on board, according to a source as told to Sputnik on Saturday.

One helicopter was carrying passengers while the other helicopter which landed safely was carrying external suspended cargo.

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'During takeoff it struck cargo hanging from the landing gear of another Mi-8 helicopter'.

"Three crew members and 15 passengers died".

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

The helicopter was manufactured in 2010. "The commander of the RA-25640 helicopter was born in 1985, graduated from the Omsk Flight School, accumulated 5,990 flight hours, including 2,300 hours as an aircraft commander", the press service said.

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The helicopters collided in the area of Vankor oil field.

The Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the neglect of aircraft safety guidelines.

Law enforcers said that all possible versions were under consideration, including a crew error and equipment failure.

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