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Russian chopper with 8 people crashes off Arctic archipelago near Norway

The helicopter fell into the sea off Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago that belongs to Norway.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2017 21:04 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Copenhagen
Russian helicopter,Russian helicopter crash,Svalbard
An Mi-8 helicopter fell into the sea, 800km north of Norway’s mainland.(REUTERS file photo)

A Russian helicopter with eight people on board has fallen into the sea off Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago that belongs to Norway, rescue officials said on Thursday.

The rescue service for northern Norway says the helicopter was en route to Barentsburg, Svalbard’s second largest settlement, from a Russian settlement known as the Pyramid.

Svalbard is more than 800km north of Norway’s mainland. It’s known for stunning views of snow-covered mountains, fjords and glaciers.

The rescue service said the helicopter went down 2-3km from Barentsburg at 3.30pm.

The Svalbardposten, the main local newspaper, says it was a Russian Mili Mi-8 helicopter that went down.

Tore Hongset, a spokesman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers for northern Norway, told Norwegian news agency NTB that it did not receive any mayday signal from the helicopter.

“As much as we have heard, we are talking about a crash,” Hongset said.

Several units from the local governor and the coast guard were headed to the presumed crash site and local hospitals were on high alert, news media reported.

In March 2008, three people were killed after a Russian Mi-8 helicopter with nine people on board crashed about 4km from Barentsburg.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 21:04 IST