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Still no information about Russian crew of Mi-8 in Congo - embassy

March 10, 2013, 15:17 UTC+3

On board the helicopter were four Russian citizens

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MOSCOW, March 10 (Itar-Tass) – As yet, there is no information about the Russian crew of a Mi-8 helicopter found in mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Head of the Consular Department at the Russian embassy Alexander Tkachev said.

“On board the helicopter were four Russian citizens,” he said on air of the Russian News Service. “Presently, the ground rescue operation continues, but unfortunately we do not have any information about the crew.”

The diplomat said unfavourable weather conditions affect the rescue operation.

Earlier, UTair, the helicopter’s owner said "On March 10 as a result of the search operation the helicopter was found in a remote area in the mountainous jungle at an altitude of about 2,700 metres. Aboard are four crew members, there were neither passengers nor cargo on board. A ground rescue operation is underway.”

"On March 9, MI-8AMT RA-22472 of the UTair airline, chartered by the UN, made a flight Shabunda-Bukavu, the Republic of the Congo in difficult climate conditions / pouring rain / in the mountains," the company reported.

"At a distance of 10 miles from the airport in Bukavu, the crew made the last contact and did not arrive in the airport in time," the report said.

UTair has been providing logistical support for peacekeeping missions of the United Nations since 1991, and presently the company is the largest provider of helicopter services to the United Nations Organisation.”

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