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At least 19 perish in helicopter tragedy in the Sakha Republic

By The Siberian Times reporter
02 July 2013

The Mi-8 with 25 passengers and a crew of three on board crash landed some 45 km into a flight, said early reports.

One account said the pilots lost control of the helicopter due to severe turbulence. Picture: file picture

Reports suggested 11 children were on board the stricken helicopter which belongs to to Polyarnye Avialinii airline and was on a routine passenger service from an airfield at Deputatsky when it failed to maintain contact with air controllers. A RIA Novosti report quoted the Sakha (Yakutia) Interior Ministry saying: 'The helicopter carried 28 people including three crew members.

'At least 19 people were killed according to preliminary information'. One account said the pilots lost control of the helicopter due to severe turbulence. 

A major search operation was launched involving two search-and-rescue helicopters and an An-26 plane with emergencies workers and medics. The condition of the other passengers and crew on board was not immediately known. 

Deputatsky is a gold and tin mining centre some 1,025 km from regional capital Yakutsk. It is also involved in deer farming, fishing, and the fur trade

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