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Helicopter accident supposedly caused by tech fault or error

December 20, 2011, 13:00 UTC+3

The helicopter overturned to its right side when landing about 50 metres off the helicopter ground and caught fire

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MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — Investigators consider two main versions of the Mi-26 helicopter accident in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – a technical fault and an error in the piloting, the Russian Investigation Committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.

A pre-investigation inquiry is underway, he added.

On December 20, a Mi-26 helicopter of the UTair airline made a landing in the Tailakovo field area in the Surgut district, on the border between the Omsk and Tyumen regions. A flight operator died in the accident. The Russian Investigation Committee's Ural regional transport investigative department is conducting a pre-investigation inquiry, the official said.

According to the preliminary information, the helicopter overturned to its right side when landing about 50 metres off the helicopter ground and caught fire.

The rest five crewmembers are taken to hospital in the nearby settlement. One of them is in grave condition, Markin said.

Investigators from the Ural transport investigative department went to the site.

The press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry's Ural regional centre told Itar-Tass that two people injured in the hard Mi-26 landing were in grave condition. Other three were in moderately heavy condition. One passenger died. The helicopter burned up. There is smoke over the site. The body of the victim supposedly is in the helicopter.

The UTair airline helicopter carrying 15 tonnes of diesel fuel made an emergency landing near the settlement of Tailakovo. According to the updated information, six people were aboard.

A helicopter with disaster medicine specialists landed at the site at 10:40 Moscow time, the press service said. A Mi-8 with rescuers from Nizhnevartovsk is also expected to arrive.







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