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KYZYL, October 19. /TASS/. The tenth day of the search operation for a Mi-8 helicopter that went missing in the republic of Tyva, East Siberia, on October 10 ended to no avail, the press service of the Tyva department of the Russian emergencies ministry said on Sunday.
Three aircrafts involved in the operation returned to their bases, the press service said, adding that 14 ground search parties were continuing their mission in a round-the-clock regime.
There seems to be no traces of the lost helicopter. The situation has been complicated by the showy weather - it is next to impossible to spot the area of possible emergency landing from air because of a thick blanket of snow. Loose snow makes the progress of ground parties problematic too.
Aircraft have surveyed an area of more than 33,000 square kilometers but this is less than the entire territory to be surveyed - 70,700 square kilometers. The searched zone has rugged terrain, with mountains, taiga and other topographic obstacles. Aircraft have to fly over mountain and taiga areas several times.
Search operations on Sunday involved 428 rescuers and 85 vehicles.
Radio contact with the helicopter of Tyva-Avia Airline with 12 people on board was lost on October 10 when it was on the way between the communities of Sorug and Kyzyl, located 270 kilometres away from each other. Local eyewitnesses saw it on that day flying in that direction amid strong winds.