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More people turning to psychologists in wake of Russian jet crash in Egypt

October 31, 2015, 19:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Egyptian authorities, all the 217 passengers and seven crewmembers died
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MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. The number of family members and relatives of victims of the Russian A321 jet crash in Egypt who have came to St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport and who needed psychologists’ assistance has increased to 35, Oleg Salagai, an official spokesman for the Russian Healthcare Ministry told TASS.

"A total of 35 people have requested medical aid by now and their condition is satisfactory," he said. In its previous reports, the ministry spoke of fifteen people who needed psychologists’ assistance.

More psychologists have been dispatched to the airport to work with the relatives of the jet crash victims.

"At this time, more than forty specialists are giving assistance on the spot," Salagai said. "Also, six teams of emergency medics have been placed there.

First Deputy Minister of Healthcare, Igor Kargamanian is expected to come to Pulkovo before the end of the day.

Salagai recalled that the ministry also sent a group of psychotherapy experts from the Nikolay Serbsky Federal Psychiatric Center with Dr. Zubar Kekelidze at the head and a team of experts from the Forensic Psychiatry Studies Center led by Dr. Andrei Kovalyov to the airport.

The Ministry for Emergency Situations said its hotline center had received more than 400 telephone calls after the tragedy, which carried away the lives of 217 passengers and seven crewmembers on Saturday morning.

"Several dozen - or maybe several hundred - people have turned to psychologists for assistance," Yulia Shoigu, the director of the ministry’s Center for Emergency Psychological Aid told the Rossiya’24 news channel.

"Our telephones are ringing endlessly and the figures of the calls taken are also changing from one minute to another," she said.

At the time of reporting, the relatives of the victims could reach psychologists could right inside the airport compound and at the hotel.

An Airbus A321 jet belonging to the Kogalymavia airline crashed in the mountains in the central part of the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday morning about 30 minutes after takeoff from Sharm al-Sheikh, some 100 km away from the city of Aris. According to the Egyptian authorities, all the 217 passengers and seven crewmembers died.

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