Helicopter carrying 16 people crashes in Russia's Far East

TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (MNA) – Early on Thursday, a Mi-8 helicopter with 16 people on board crashed in Russia's Far East region of Kamchatka.

The helicopter operated by Vityaz-Aero company with 13 passengers and three crew hard-landed near a lake on the south of Kamchatka peninsula, the local emergency service said.

The helicopter was carrying tourists from Moscow and St Petersburg, state news agency RIA reported, citing a source at the emergency service. RIA said the helicopter fell into the lake, France 24 reported.

Nine people were found alive at the scene, Interfax news agency reported, citing a source with Kamchatka's health ministry.

TASS news agency said seven passengers and two crew members survived

Kamchatka peninsula is more than 6,000 km (3,728 miles) east of Moscow and about 2,000 km west of Alaska. 

The area where the crash occurred 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 and rich wildlife. The Kronotsky reserve, which has Russia’s only geyser basin, is a major tourist attraction on Kamchatka and helicopters regularly carry tourists there.

RHM/PR 

News Code 177270

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