Nine oil workers die as helicopter crashes in Siberia

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A file photo of an Mi-8 in military service

Nine oil workers have been killed after their helicopter crashed in Siberia, Russia.

"According to provisional information, there were 16 people on board, including three crew members. At least nine people died," a spokesman for Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry told reporters. The crash occurred in Yamalo-Nenets, an oil-rich region in Northern Siberia.

A Federal Air Transport Agency told Interfax that only thirteen were onboard the aircraft, which was operated by UT Air, but agreed with the death toll of nine. He also said that three people received minor injuries and a fourth was seriously injured. All the passengers worked on a local drilling platform.

The aircraft was headed from Noyabrsk to the Varginskoye oilfield. It caught fire after crashing. According to the ministry, the crash site was "70 kilometers from the border between the Khanty Mansi Autonomous Area and Yamal".

Two more Mi-8s were flown in with emergency workers.