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Russian Helicopter Crash Kills Nine

MOSCOW -- Nine people were killed when a helicopter carrying employees of oil firm Gazprom Neft crashed in Russia's far north, Russia's Emergencies Ministry and the company said.

"The helicopter crashed as it was coming into land and nine people were killed," a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry said.

The MI-8 helicopter was being operated by Russian carrier UT-Air when the crash occurred in the Yamal-Nenetsk region, near the Arctic Circle, the spokesman said.

Gazprom Neft confirmed that the helicopter was carrying 13 oil workers, as well as three crew. Seven people survived the crash, the company said.

"The reasons for the catastrophe are being investigated," Gazprom Neft said. The company said the helicopter came down near its Vorgensky oil field.

Helicopters are frequently used in remote areas of Russia to cover vast distances over tough terrain.