15 killed in helicopter crash

The Russian Emergencies Ministry confirmed 15 people onboard a Mi-8 helicopter died when it crashed.

Earlier, witnesses confirmed this to RIA Novosti.

The tragedy happened on Thursday in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous area (north of Western Siberia).

There were 12 passengers and three crew members on the helicopter.

"Two Yamal airlines helicopters were flying over forests near the Raduzhnoye village," the ministry reported. "A little while later, one of the helicopters crashed 90 kilometers from the village. The cause of the crash have not been established yet."

"Because of the crash, the Mi-8 was partially destroyed and caught on fire," ministry said.

According to a spokesman for the ministry, the other helicopter noticed the crash and landed near the crash site.

The circumstances of the tragedy are still being determined.