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MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) — A criminal case has been opened over the crash of a Russian air force Mi-35 helicopter in Dagestan that killed four servicemen, a spokesman for the Russian Investigations Committee told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
The criminal case was opened on charges of violation of flight safety rules (article 351 of the Russian Criminal Code).
“According to preliminary information, two Mi-35 helicopters were making a planned flight from an airfield in North Ossetia’s Mozdok to Botlikh in Dagestan. At about 13:00 Moscow time one of them disappeared from radar screens,” the spokesman said. The other helicopter failed to spot the lost helicopter. At 15:00 Moscow time, local residents reported hearing a sound of crash: the helicopter collided with a mountain when crossing a mountain pass some 20 kilometers from Botlikh.
Rescuers found the crashed helicopter and four dead bodies, three crew members and a navigator of one of army units.
An investigation is underway. The Russian defence ministry has set up a special commission to probe into the accident. Until the investigation is over, all Mi-35 flights have been suspended.