19 killed as Ukraine helicopter crashes into drilling rig

April 28th, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by admin  

Kiev, April 28 (DPA) A Ukrainian helicopter crashed into a Black Sea oil drilling rig Monday, killing all 19 people aboard, a government spokesman said. The MiG-8 passenger helicopter had been carrying workers to an offshore oil rig in the Sea of Azov near the Crimea peninsula, said Yury Avdeev, an official from the state-owned Chernomornaftohaz energy company.

Victims included 17 rig workers and three flight crew, Avdeev said.

The aircraft’s rotor struck a steel fence rail on the rig during a landing attempt, causing the helicopter to turn over, crash into the rig and burn, said Iosif Vinsky, a transport ministry spokesman.

The MiG servicing the government-operated Tavrida oil and gas field had received all proper pre-flight checks and was fit for flight, Vinsky said.

Weather conditions in the region had been rainy and windy prior to the accident.

The mishap came exactly one month after a Ukrainian Border Troops helicopter, also a MiG-8, crashed into the Black Sea near the Danube delta, en route to an island observation post.

Thirteen people died and one passenger survived in the crash, caused by a combination of poor weather and pilot error, investigators said.

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