Fourteen survive copter crash in Russia
All 14 passengers survived a close brush with death on Monday when their helicopter crashed in the far east of Russia -- a rare happy ending for a country prone to aviation disasters.
The Mi-8 helicopter, which included 11 forest firefighters among its passengers, crashed near the village of Chekunda in the Khabarovsk region, the Federal Forestry Agency said.
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"They got in touch and said they were alive," a spokeswoman for the agency, Yulia Vasyutinskaya, told AFP. She did not provide further details.
Regional investigators had earlier reported that the helicopter had crashed and burned, and that a team of investigators was heading to the site.
Deadly aviation disasters are common in Russia, often blamed on ageing aircraft and poor maintenance.
Aviation experts say the Soviet-era Mi-8 has an especially poor safety record.
On June 1, a Mi-8 helicopter carrying 18 people crashed into a lake in northern Russia, killing all but two of the passengers.
by Jung Ha-Won © 2014 AFP
Source : AFP
Jan 20 - 22, 2015 - London, United Kingdom