updated 9/11/2006 2:39:50 PM ET 2006-09-11T18:39:50

A military helicopter crashed Monday in southern Russia, killing at least 10 servicemen and injuring four more, officials said.

The Mi-8 helicopter, carrying a crew of three and a team of 12 senior military officers on an inspection trip, slammed into the ground on the outskirts of Vladikavkaz, the provincial capital of the republic of North Ossetia, the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

A duty officer at the regional military headquarters said 10 of those who were on board died in the crash and another one was missing. Four people were injured, said the officer, who didn't give his name because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

The officers were part of a team inspecting logistics of the Russian military's 58th Army, stationed in Northern Caucasus, military officials said. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash.

Crashes of the Mi-8 — a workhorse helicopter used widely in civilian aviation as well as by the military — occur frequently in Russia and often are blamed on poor maintenance and excessive age.

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