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IRKUTSK, May 29 (Itar-Tass) - The Mi-8 helicopter crash in the Irkutsk region during anti-flood measures in early May was caused by midair explosion, director of the regional department of the Emergency Situations Ministry Vyacheslav Eglit confirmed on Wednesday.
The helicopter with a crew of three and six rescuers was flying explosives for blasting ice jams on the Nizhnyaya Tunguska river.
"The helicopter exploded at an altitude of more than 100 meters over the lake where no demolition works were underway," he told reporters.
Eglit proceeded to describe the circumstances of the air accident thus: "they refueled at the Burovaya-111 site. The rescuers who were in the village of Moga, said they had seen the helicopter and waved to it at a distance of approximately three kilometers. As they were walking to the settlement of Yerema, the helicopter exploded.
According to the emergency official, the helicopter was carrying just a part of explosives. He ruled out any violation of safety rules. "They'd never allow any violations of safety rules. There were no demolition works at an altitude of 110 meters; nobody was dropping explosives from the helicopter," Eglit said.