Russian helicopter crash kills 19 in Yakutia region of Siberia | News | DW | 02.07.2013
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Russian helicopter crash kills 19 in Yakutia region of Siberia

A helicopter crash in the remote Siberian region of Yakutia has killed 19 people, Russian authorities said. The aircraft was carrying 28 people, including 11 children, and was miles away from the nearest town.

Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee said that a Mi-8 helicopter crash-landed in the remote mountainous Yakutia region in Siberia on Tuesday, killing 19 people.

"There were three crew members and 25 passengers on board," the committee said in a statement. "Nineteen people died, the aircraft burnt down," it said, citing the surviving crew members.

Out of the 25 passengers on board, emergency officials confirmed that 11 of them were children, however they did not provide further details.

Officials did not immediately comment on the cause of the crash.

Yakutia, also known as Sakha, is a large region stretching north of the Arctic circle. Helicopters are frequently used as a means of transport in remote regions of Siberia. However, Russia has a gloomy record of aviation safety, which is blamed on poor regulations and an outdated fleet.

hc/dr (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)