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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, April 19. /TASS/. At least two foreigners were injured when a helicopter with 16 tourists and three crew members on board crash-landed in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, local officials said.
Sergei Khabarov, the region’s minister for special programs, told TASS that two tourists from US and France citizens suffered moderately severe injuries.
"The injured were taken to a regional hospital. Their condition is estimated as moderately severe. They are foreigners. One French citizen and one American," Khabarov said.
The region’s investigative committee said three people were injured, but the nationality of the third victim and his condition is unknown. A probe was launched into the incident.
"The aviation incident took place near the Mutnovsky Volcano several hours ago. During the landing, the helicopter’s landing gear broke down," the regional government’s press service said in a statement.
The helicopter, owned by the Vityaz-Aero carrier, was to take skiers to the volcano’s slopes. Shortly after the incident, another helicopter of this company flew the injured to a helicopter pad in the nearby village of Nikolayevka, where ambulances were already waiting for them.
The victims received first aid on site, and were subesquently transported to the Kamchatka’s Lukashevsky Regional Hospital.
"According to initial information, both suffer from multisystem traumas," Kamchatka Territory’s health minister Tatyana Lemeshko said.