2 July 2013, 14:28

Children killed in Mi-8 helicopter crash landing in Yakutia - airline director

мчс вертолет ми-8

Children are said to be among the people killed in Tuesday's crash landing of a Mil Mi-8 helicopter in Yakutia, said Andrei Koryakin, general director of the Polar Airlines company, which owns the Mi-8.

"The preliminary information available indicates that children have been killed as well. Their number is still unknown because we have not yet reached the site. The only information we have has been provided by the crew," he said.

The air carrier's administration has so far been informed of 19 fatalities, Koryakin said.

"The crew has reported 19 fatalities. So far we have no further information. I am giving you tentative figures. More precise information will be available when the rescuers reach the site," he said.

The Polar Airlines Mi-8 helicopter carrying 25 passengers, including 11 children, and three crewmembers made a crash landing 45 kilometers northwest of the airfield in the village of Deputatsky of Yakutia's Ust-Yansk district early on Tuesday morning.

A criminal investigation has begun into the accident.

Nineteen people die in Russian helicopter crash - official

Nineteen people died Tuesday when a MI-8 helicopter crashed in the Russia's northern region of Yakutia, an aviation committee said.

"Nineteen people died, the aircraft burnt down," said the statement, citing the surviving crew members.

"There were three crew members and 25 passengers on board," the Interstate Aviation Committee said in a statement.

A Mil Mi-8 helicopter made a crash landing in Yakutia after having hit a mountain with its rotary wing, Yakutian administration spokesman Anatoly Skrybykin said in a teleconference.

"The helicopter's rotary wing brushed against a mountain slope, the helicopter bumped and hit the ground," he said.
There were eleven children aboard, "among them eight children younger than twelve and three children younger than 36 months," he said.

Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov demanded reinforcement of the rescue team operating on the crash scene.

"Reinforce the team. Prepare medical modules and assign a Centrospas unit. The weather is bad, so we will have to send land search parties," he said.

The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) commission has already started to investigate the accident, it said.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Interfax

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