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At Least 19 Dead In Helicopter Crash On Russia's Yamal Peninsula

Rescuers work at the site of the crash of an Mi-8 helicopter about 80 kilometers northwest of the settlement of Urengoi, in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area of Siberia.

Authorities said a helicopter ferrying Russian oil workers to a site on the far northern Yamal Peninsula crashed, killing at least 19 people and injuring three.

The Federal Air Transport Agency said in its statement that 16 of the 19 killed in the October 21 crash were passengers and the other three were crew members.

One injured passenger was taken to the Novy Urengoi settlement by helicopter, while two other survivors received medical assistance on the spot as their condition was assessed as critical. officials said.

RIA Novosti had found rescuers found both of the black boxes from the Mi-8 copter "in good condition."

The injured passenger communicated by cell phone with Russian Emergencies Ministry rescuers, who took hours to reach the site in the remote area.

Officials said weather conditions and visibility were poor in the area and that rescuers initially had to make their way to the crash site some 70 kilomters from Urengoi on snowmobiles. Helicopters later arrived at the site.

The Transport Ministry said the helicopter, belonging to the Skol air company, was flying from the village of Suzunskoye, in the territory of Krasnoyarsk.

Mi-8 helicopter are the workhorse vehicle for oil companies operating in remote, harsh regions of Russia. Crashes are often blamed on poor maintenance and aging machinery and parts.

The aircraft are also in wide use around the world, for civilian and military purposes.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti,, and TASS