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MURMANSK, June 02 /ITAR-TASS/. Mourning for the helicopter crash victims has been declared in Murmansk Region on Monday, an official in the press service of the regional government told Itar-Tass.
The press service official pointed out, "The flags of the Russian Federation and the Murmansk Region will fly at half-mast. Cultural institutions and regional television channels have been advised to cancel entertainment programs."
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.