LONGYEARBYEN /Norway/, November 3. /TASS/. The area of search on the Spitsbergen coastline was expanded after Russian rescuers and Red Cross volunteers found no traces of the crashed Mi-8 helicopter on a 150-kilometer stretch of the Arctic island’s shore.
According to a TASS correspondent reporting from the scene, all search parties returned to Longyearbyen on Thursday after examining about 56 kilometers of the shore. During the four-day search mission, more than 150 kilometers of coastal areas were combed, but no people or fragments from the Mi-8 helicopter that crashed in the sea last week were found.
As a result, the zone of coastal search, determined by scientific analysis that involved participation of Norwegian experts, has been expanded.
A Mil Mi-8 helicopter of the Conversavia airline, carrying eight people, went missing while on its way from the mothballed community of Pyramiden to Barentsburg on October 26. There were five crew members and three employees of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute on board.
On October 29, more than 40 Russian rescue workers joined the search operation carried out by Norway. On the night of October 29, the helicopter was found on the seabed two kilometers east of Cape Heer, at a depth of nearly 210 meters. On the following day, the body of one of the victims was found 130 meters away from the crash site. The remaining seven persons are yet to be located.