At least 19 dead in helicopter crash in Russia

Tuesday 02 July 2013 22.36
Itar-Tass suggested as many as 23 people were killed
Itar-Tass suggested as many as 23 people were killed

A helicopter packed with passengers crashed in Siberia killing at least 19 of the 28 people aboard, Russia's civil aviation commission said.

The Mi-8 aircraft operated by Polar Airlines caught fire after crashing in the Sakha region with 25 passengers and three crew members on board, the Interstate Aviation Committee said.

Citing a surviving crew member, the committee said on its website that 19 people were killed.

State-run Itar-Tass later cited a regional government official as saying 23 people were killed and five survived, including a child.

Sakha, also known as Yakutia, is a vast region stretching north of the Arctic circle and helicopters are frequently used to transport people to remote areas.