Helicopter crash kills 18 in Russia's Krasnoyarsk

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A helicopter crash in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region has killed as many as 18 people, including three pilots.

According to reports in media, the incident took place when a Mi-8 helicopter collided with the external cargo suspension of another helicopter that took off earlier. "As a result of the crash of RA-25640, everyone died", the press service told Interfax in a statement.

The helicopter with cargo landed safely after the crew dropped the external suspension, it added. It added that the helicopter was manufactured in Russian Federation in 2010, and the pilot had flown almost 6,000 hours. A UTair ATR 72 crashed in Siberia in 2012, killing 33 of the 43 people aboard, after failing to be de-iced before takeoff.

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

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All the passengers were reportedly staff members of a subsidiary of the Russian state oil company Rosneft.

A spokesman for an emergency team found two flight recorders at the site of the crash.

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

Both the helicopters were owned by UTair-Helicopter Services, a unit of Russian airline Utair.

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