MURMANSK, June 02 /ITAR-TASS/. Divers have spotted the bodies of yet another two crash victims in the water and brought them to the surface at the copter crash site in Murmansk Region. So, the number of the found victims has reached nine, a regional government source told Itar-Tass.
"The rescuers are yet to find another seven victims," the source added.
Water depth at the crash site is about three metres. The search operation is involving more than 110 people rescuers, specialists of the State Small Craft Inspectorate, Interior Ministry personnel, and more than 20 units of machinery, including cross-country vehicles.
In the evening of May 31, a Mi-8 helicopter of the Spark-Avia Company, which carried 18 people (five crew members and 13 passengers), according to the Investigative Committee data, fell into Lake Munozero in Murmansk Region. There were two survivors.
They were hospitalized with injuries of various degree of gravity. According to preliminary data, the other 16 people died in the crash. Five victims have been identified by now, according to the Investigative Committee data.
The investigation bodies of the North-Western investigation department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation have instituted criminal proceedings in connection with the fact of the copter crash on the strength of the signs of a crime, listed in Article 263, Part 3, of the Penal Code of the RF (a breach of air traffic safety rules, entailing the death of two or more persons by negligence).
The investigation examines an air equipment failure and adverse weather conditions as a result of which the pilot lost spatial orientation and the copter collided with water surface among the main versions of the emergency.