Helicopter Crashes News Update News — 27 October 2017

Crashed Russian helicopter raised from its Arctic seabed

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Russian helicopter was raised Saturday from the seabed where it had crashed last month off Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago with eight people on board.

Norway’s Accident Investigation Board said none of the missing people were inside the helicopter that went down Oct. 26 near the Svalbard settlement of Barentsburg. So far, only one body has been recovered from the Mi-8 helicopter’s wreckage, which was located at a depth of nearly 685 feet.

The agency said the helicopter’s cockpit voice recorder was found when the aircraft was brought to the surface by a ship equipped with a sturdy crane. It will be sent to Moscow together with the GPS units from the helicopter for analysis.

It said the search continued for the helicopter’s flight data recorder, which had not been found, and the missing crew and passengers.

The helicopter had been carrying five crew members and three members from Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

The helicopter went down near Barentsburg, the archipelago’s second-largest settlement, which is a Russian coal-mining town of about 500 people. It came from the Russian hamlet of Pyramiden, a largely abandoned mine that attracts some tourists to see its empty Soviet-era buildings.

“We continue to comb the coast with people from the police and the Red Cross,” said Gunnar Johansen, a spokesman for the local governor.

Since the crash, more than 150 people have searched more than 124 miles of coastal areas — some places twice, according to the governor’s website.

Under an international 1920 treaty, Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard, which is 500 miles north of its mainland. Other signatory countries have rights to exploit the archipelago’s natural resources, including Russia.

Formerly known as Spitzbergen, the archipelago is known for stunning snow-covered mountains, fjords and glaciers.

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Older news:
A desperate search in under way after a Russian helicopter went down in the freezing sea off Svalbard, Norwegian officials said.

Rescuers are using a remote controlled submarine to look for the type Mi-8 helicopter, which crashed near the Arctic archipelago belonging to Norway.

But there were “no results” in the overnight search, which was centred near Cap Heer after a sighting of oil on the water.

Tore Hongset, leader of Norway’s rescue co-ordination centre, said: “We’ve found oil spills and air bubbles rising to the surface, and a vessel in the area has observed what appears to be a submerged object. It may be the helicopter.”

According to newspaper Svalbardposten, the alert was raised after the helicopter failed to land at a heliport in Barentsburg at its scheduled arrival time.

Five passengers and three crew on board are understood to be Russian nationals.

The helicopter was equipped with life rafts.

Barentsburg is a Russian coal-mining town of about 500 people. Under a 1920 treaty, Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago but other signatory countries have rights to exploit its natural resources.

Svalbard is more than 500 miles (800km) north of Norway’s mainland. It is known for stunning views of snow-covered mountains, fjords and glaciers.

In March 2008, three people were killed when a Russian Mi-8 helicopter with nine people on board crashed near Barentsburg.

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