A military helicopter crashed on the edge of Moscow on Tuesday afternoon, injuring two people and falling close to a residential area.
Pilot error and technical malfunctions on the twin-seat Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter are two possible causes for the aircraft emergency crash landing near the Vykhino-Zhulebino district in southeast Moscow, a spokeswoman from Moscow's transregional investigative department told Interfax.
The total damage to equipment aboard the helicopter, which was almost completely burnt out, is about 800 million rubles ($25 million), an unidentified official familiar with the situation said.
A representative from Kamov, which owns the helicopter, said that the two pilots, who are both in their fifties and have extensive experience,wisely crashed the aircraft on the company's helipad and "took all measures to avoid more serious consequences."
The helicopter crashed to the ground 100 meters from apartment buildings but did not injure any civilians. The pilot got out of the chopper under his own power, and the navigator was helped out by the helicopter manufacturer's employees, the Kamov representative said. Both were then airlifted to a local hospital, and a source in law enforcement told Interfax that the pair are in serious condition with fractures.
An Emergency Situations Ministry official said the accident caused fires that spread to an area of 20 square meters.
The incident marks the second time in two years that a Ka-52 helicopter has crashed. In March 2012 two pilots died during a training exercise after the same model crashed near Torzhok in the Tver region.
The Ka-52 was internationally displayed for the first time at an airshow in June, RIA Novosti reported.
Videos on YouTube shot near the site of the accident and from nearby apartment buildings appeared to show the helicopter billowing smoke as emergency workers attempt to put out the blaze.