Nineteen people are feared dead after a Russian helicopter crash-landed in the country’s Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia.
According to local media reports, the Mi-8 transport helicopter, operated by Skol Airlines, went down with 22 people on board in the Yamal Peninsula, located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug region of Siberia in early hours of Saturday while it was en route to the Suzumskoye oil and gas field in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region.
Emergencies Ministry spokesman Vadim Grebennikov said only one critically wounded survivor had already been taken via a rescue helicopter to a hospital in Urengoy, some 82 kilometers southeast of the crash site.
“Rescuers have landed at the crash-landing site in Yamal. They evacuated the injured passenger who had been communicating with them,” said Grebennikov
Only two other people are believed to have survived the crash, but Grebennikov said that it was too early to announce the exact death toll.
Two choppers, carrying paramedics and rescue workers, have already been dispatched to the site, with a total of 140 people now involved in the rescue operation.
The two black boxes of the helicopter were retrieved almost unharmed from the crash site by rescue teams. Reports say that the aircraft was badly damaged and turned to its side but did not explode.
Other Russian media reports cited poor whether condition as the cause of the incident.