Ukrainian Interior Ministry helicopter crashes, five killed

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Dec. 26, 2012, 9:45 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Picture taken 18 August 2005 shows Russian helicopter MI-8 displayed at the 2005 International Aerospace Fair, known by its Russian acronym, MAKS, which takes place in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow.

A Ukrainian Interior Ministry helicopter crashed in Kirovohrad region, killing five people.

The crash occurred at the Oleksandria airfield at about 1600, the Interior Ministry reported.

"For unknown reasons, a Mi-8 helicopter started dipping down soon after climbing and collided with the ground. Three crewmembers and two ground service specialists tragically died in the crash," it said.

A group of investigators is working at the scene. A commission led by Deputy Interior Minister Viktor Ratushniak has been set up to investigate the incident.

Local media reported that a helicopter belonging to military unit 22-69 based in Oleksandria crashed not far from the local railway station while on a planned flight. Emergency Situations Ministry rescue teams and journalists from Kontakt-LTD television channel were first to appear at the scene. However, military officials barred journalists from filming the crash scene and attempted to seize the videos from them but did not succeed.

The media reported that the helicopter did not burst into flames upon impact.

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