The Mi-8 helicopter, which was transporting 22 passengers and four crew members, crashed outside the town of Igarka in Western Siberia, some 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) northeast of Moscow.

"Fifteen people were killed and 10 people were hospitalised as a result of the crash," regional transportation authorities said in a statement.

Contact with the helicopter which was headed to an oil pumping station was lost just after 0930 IST, some 15 minutes after takeoff from Igarka airport, authorities said.

The regional branch of the emergencies ministry said the helicopter had performed an emergency landing but did not elaborate on what might have caused the crash.

Prosecutors said they would investigate possible safety violations.

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