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150 people participate in search for Mi-8, 2 crewmen already found

July 02, 2013, 9:14 UTC+3

Aboard the helicopter were 28 people, three crew and 25 passengers

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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - One hundred and fifty people participate in the search and rescue operation in Yakutia where a Mi-8 helicopter made a hard landing, the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s information department told Itar-Tass.

A force numbering more than 150 people is formed for the search work. More than 40 vehicles and seven aircraft are used in the operation, a ministry source said.

Two crewmen of Mi-8 crashed in Yakutia have been already found alive, fate of others is being inquired, according to Yakutia’s government.

According to latest data, the search at a hard landing site of the helicopter Mi-8 in Yakutia is suspended over the bad weather, head of the national centre of management in emergency situations of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations Vladimir Stepanov said on Tuesday.

“The search at the place (where the helicopter is located) is suspended over the weather conditions,” he said.

An inquiry is launched into the Mi-8 helicopter accident in Yakutia.

The press service of the Eastern Siberian transport investigation department of the Russian Investigative Committee said that the Mi-8 helicopter of Polar Airlines, which was on a flight from the settlement of Deputatsky to the village of Ust-Yana, made a hard landing in the Ust-Yana district, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), 45-50 km northwest of the settlement of Deputatsky at about 05:20 Moscow time on Tuesday.

Aboard the helicopter were 28 people, three crew and 25 passengers, among them - 11 children, accroding to reports. Whether to open a criminal case is under consideration now. A group of investigators together with a deputy Eastern Siberian regional transport prosecutor left for the site.

The Mi-8 made a hard landing supposedly because of loss of control, an official source told Itar-Tass.

According to the preliminary information, the Mi-8 fell on a hill when it was out of control because of air flows.

Information about victims was not confirmed.

The crew captain contacted rescuers. He said nobody died, a police source reported.

The information that the Mi-8 made a hard landing 45 km northwest of the airfield at the settlement of Deputatsky in the Ust-Yana district was received by the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s crisis management centre in Yakutia at 05:20 Moscow time on Tuesday. The captain gave the information, using satellite communication, the press service of the Far Eastern regional centre of the Emergencies Ministry said.

Helicopters with rescuers and medical specialists were sent from the settlements of Batagai and Tiksi to the landing site.

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