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Russian helicopter crashes in Siberia, 21 killed

The helicopter was flying from the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk to the town of Urengoy in the Yamalo-Nenetsky region

At least nineteen people reportedly killed when a Russian-built Mi-8 helicopter crashed in northwestern Siberia on Friday night.

According to officials, three others rescued after the helicopter with 22 passengers and crew on board crashed outside the city of Novy Urengoy.

A statement issued by Russian investigative committee read as saying, “19 people have died from multiple injuries at the scene, according to preliminary data”.

According to a law enforcement official, one of the survivors is undergoing a surgery to save the life.

‘Rescuers that arrived at the site have entered the damaged helicopter, where they found three people in serious condition. The other 19 passengers were killed”, the official earlier said.

The helicopter was flying from the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk to the town of Urengoy in the Yamalo-Nenetsky region.

Emergency workers were dispatched to the scene after receiving a call from a survivor and the team was managed to save three people from the wreckage, the emergencies ministry stated.

One of the survivors was quoted by The Siberian Times as saying in a phone call:  ‘Three are moaning, I am the fourth. And the rest do not even moan,’ he said. ‘One guy was able to climb out, he wanders around the helicopter, but he is kind of insane. I do not know where we are. Where is the help? Will there be any help? I cannot get out of the helicopter, my leg got caught.”

The crash reportedly took place in a thick fog and the temperature was around minus 7C.  The emergencies ministry said that fog and difficult visibility conditions had delayed the search and the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, the investigative committee said the crash may have caused by a violation of flight safety rules, a technical problem or a bad weather conditions, AFP reported. A criminal probe has been launched to investigate the incident.

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