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Rescuers recover 5 bodies from crashed helicopter in Russia’s Far East

August 17, 2015, 4:55 UTC+3 KHABAROVSK

Eleven people were reported to survive the accident, while five more went missing

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Resque team of Emergency Ministry

Resque team of Emergency Ministry

© Egor Aleev/TASS

KHABAROVSK, August 17. /TASS/. Rescuers recovered five missing bodies from a helicopter, which crashed and sank in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory on Saturday, Sergey Viktorov, a spokesman for the local emergencies services, said.

A Mil Mi-8 helicopter of the Vostok Aviation Company crashed August 15 as it was making a flight between two settlements in the Far East’s Khabarovsk territory. There were three crew members and 13 passengers on board the aircraft. Eleven people were reported to survive the accident, while five more went missing.

The helicopter was due to arrive at the final destination by 10:20 Moscow time, but the crew did not communicate in due course. Later reports said the helicopter crashed in the Onchagan Bay in the Sea of Okhotsk near the Shantar Islands.

Media reports said earlier that top managers of the VTB Leasing, a top-20 leasing company in Europe, were on board the crashed helicopter. VTB’s press service said that Andrei Konoplev, the company’s director general, and his deputies had survived the crash.

The Shantar Islands are a group of fifteen islands located off the western shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. The archipelago amazes travellers by its unique wild nature. A tour to the islands in a group of ten people for 12 days costs about $9,000 per person.

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