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Helicopter crashes in Russia’s Far East

June 30, 2014, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The helicopter was carrying 14 fire-fighting paratroopers and three crewmen

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Mi-8 helicopter (archive)

Mi-8 helicopter (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. A Mi-8 helicopter has crashed in the Khabarovsk Territory in Russia’s Far East, spokesperson for the regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee (IC) Oxana Polshakova told ITAR-TASS.

“At 1pm (local time), a Mi-8 helicopter, belonging to the Avir aviation company, flew on a firefighting mission to the Verkhnebureinsky area. At 6:57pm (local time) it was spotted from the air to the north-west of the settlement of Chekunda of the Verkhnebureinsky area. The causes of the crash are being investigated, and the number of those injured is being specified,” Polshakova said.

Earlier, the press service of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said that 14 people were onboard the helicopter, including the crew. “The helicopter was transporting forest security officers,” the press service said.

However, a source in the law enforcement agencies of the region said 17 people were onboard the Mi-8 helicopter.

The information is being specified. According to the forest security watchdog, four forest fires have been registered on the territory of the Khabarovsk region, covering the area of more than 52 hectares.

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