A Mi-8 helicopter has crash in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia on Saturday, the aviation watchdog and emergency services said.
“It crashed with another helicopter that had taken off earlier on Friday from Vankor, above the Arctic Circle about 2,600km (1,600 miles) north-east of Moscow a police source told TASS.
The passengers, workers heading to their shift at an oil-pumping station, and three crew members died when the Russian-made Mi-8 aircraft knocked into the cargo of an adjacent helicopter as both were completing take-off, watchdog Rosaviatsia said.
“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.
The helicopters’ black boxes have been recovered, appear undamaged and will be sent to Moscow as part of the investigation, TASS news agency said, citing law enforcement agencies.
Operatives and rescue teams were working at the site of the crash at the time this report went on wire.
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.