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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

6 Dead in LUKoil Helicopter Crash

A helicopter crash early Wednesday in the southern Volgograd region killed six people, including five LUKoil employees and a crew member.

Two pilots survived the crash but were critically injured, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Marat Prokopenkov said. The Mi-8 helicopter, owned by Gazpromavia, slammed into a field and burst into flames after an engine failure, Prokopenkov said.

Darya Polukhina, a spokeswoman for the Gazprom-controlled airline, said the passengers were on a trip to inspect a pipeline.

LUKoil said in a statement that it chartered the craft from Gazpromavia and that five of the victims were employees at its Volgogradneftegaz unit.

Helicopters are widely used by energy companies to survey remote fields, but poor maintenance has made helicopter crashes a relatively common occurrence.

(AP, Bloomberg)