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Tags: Russia | Helicopter

Helicopter with Tourists Crashes in East Russia; 8 Missing

Wednesday, 11 August 2021 08:00 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — A helicopter carrying tourists crashed into a volcanic lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far east Thursday, leaving up to eight people missing, according to news reports.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry quoted the regional administration as saying workers in the Kronotsky nature reserve, where the helicopter went down, were searching the waters of Kuril Lake for survivors.

The ministry said 13 tourists and three crew members were aboard the Mi-8 helicopter when it plunged into the lake and eight people survived, according to the state RIA-Novosti news agency. It said two of them were heavily injured.

The Interfax news agency, however, said the helicopter was carrying three crew members and 14 tourists when it went down in the deep fog. It said nine people survived the crash, and the others were missing and feared dead.

The different numbers could not be immediately reconciled. The reports did not list the nationalities of the tourists.

The Kuril Lake that the helicopter crashed into was formed in a volcano caldera and crater.

The helicopter, which was manufactured during the Soviet era 37 years ago, was operated by the Vityaz-Aero, a local private carrier. Its director said it had recently undergone maintenance and was in good shape.

The Mi-8 is a two-engine helicopter designed in the 1960s. It has been used widely in Russia, ex-Soviet countries and many other nations across the globe.

The area can only be reached by helicopters and the fog was complicating rescue efforts, the RIA Novosti reported. Several local emergency workers, including three divers, were conducting rescue efforts, it said.

Kamchatka, the pristine peninsula which is home to numerous volcanoes is known for its rugged beauty. The Kronotsky reserve, which has Russia’s only geyser basin, is a major tourist attraction on Kamchatka and helicopters regularly carry tourists there.

Quickly changing weather often makes flights risky. Last month, an An-26 passenger plane crashed on Kamchatka while approaching an airport in bad weather, killing all 28 people on board.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
A helicopter carrying tourists crashed into a volcanic lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east Thursday, leaving up to eight people missing, according to news reports.Russia's Emergencies Ministry quoted the regional administration as saying workers in the...
Russia,Helicopter
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2021-00-11
Wednesday, 11 August 2021 08:00 PM
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