Helicopter crashes in Russian Far East city, 6 killed

Helicopter crashes in Russian Far East city, 6 killed
A helicopter has crashed in the Russian Far East city of Khabarovsk, killing several people. The crash took place inside city boundaries and sparked a fire.

All six people on board the Mi-8 helicopter died as a result of the crash, according to investigators and emergency ministry medics.

The aircraft was civilian and belonged to Vostok, a Russian Far East airline. It was performing a training flight when it went down.

The area of the crash is within Khabarovsk city limits but located in an uninhabited space near a wooded area. No injuries or damage has been reported on the ground.

A video appearing to show the site of the crash has emerged on social media. Thick black smoke is seen billowing from the wreckage. The eyewitness in the video says the helicopter fell after it hit an antenna tower.

Eyewitnesses told RIA Novosti that they heard a loud bang followed by the sound of an explosion as the helicopter hit the ground.

The search and rescue operation at the site of the crash has finished, the Emergencies Ministry told RIA Novosti, as it confirmed that the whole crew was killed.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash. The reasons being considered are weather conditions, a technical fault and a piloting error. The helicopter's black box has been recovered.

Thursday, April 12 was declared a day of mourning for the victims of the crash, according to TASS, citing a local government spokesperson.

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