LONGYEAR /Norway/, November 4. /TASS/. Norway's rescuers lifted the crashed Russian helicopter near Spitsbergen, spokesman of the Russian emergencies ministry Evgeny Saidov told TASS on Saturday.
"At night to Saturday, they lifted the Russian helicopters fuselage," he said. "No bodies were inside."
The operation to lift the helicopter began on Friday evening, he continued. "The operation continued in poor visibility and severe Arctic conditions," he said.
Saidov added that the cockpit voice recorder from the Russian helicopter is also lifted from the seabed. "It would be delivered to Moscow for reading", he said.
A multi-purpose vessel, the Maersk Forza, designed to carry out various types of work at great depths, was chartered to lift the helicopter’s wreckage from the seabed. It arrived to Spitsbergen on Thursday. The recovery effort will also involve divers of the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
The search operation features Russian rescuers and the Norwegian police and Red Cross volunteers, with the search area being expanded every day.
On October 26, a Mil Mi-8 helicopter of the Conversavia airline, carrying eight people, was en route from the mothballed community of Pyramiden to Barentsburg when contact with the aircraft was lost at 15:04 local time (16:04 Moscow time. There were five crew and three employees of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute on board the helicopter.
It was in a proper technical condition and underwent maintenance before the flight, Conversavia said. More than 40 Russian rescuers joined the search operation on Sunday night. On the same day, the crashed helicopter was spotted at a depth of 209 meters in the Barents Sea some two kilometers off Cape Heer.
According to Norwegian authorities, the body of one victim was found on October 30, some 130 meters away from the crashed helicopter.