3 bodies found after helicopter crash in Russia’s Kamchatka

Aug 13, 2021, 4:02 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2021, 4:07 am
In this photo released by the Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service, emergency personnel work ne...

In this photo released by the Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service, emergency personnel work near the site where a helicopter carrying tourists crashed at Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. The helicopter carrying tourists crashed Thursday into the deep volcanic crater lake on the peninsula in Russia's far east, leaving multiple people missing. Officials said several people survived. (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

(Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

              In this handout photo taken from video released by Kamchatka regional government, emergency personnel work near the site where a helicopter carrying tourists crashed at Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. A helicopter carrying tourists has crashed into a deep volcanic crater lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east, leaving up to eight people missing. Officials said at least eight survived. Emergency workers including divers were searching for survivors in Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve. (Kamchatka regional government via AP)
            
              In this photo released by the Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service, emergency personnel work near the site where a helicopter carrying tourists crashed at Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. The helicopter carrying tourists crashed Thursday into the deep volcanic crater lake on the peninsula in Russia's far east, leaving multiple people missing. Officials said several people survived. (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)
            
              In this handout photo taken from video released by Kamchatka regional government, a view from an emergency helicopter of the site where a helicopter carrying tourists crashed at Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. A helicopter carrying tourists has crashed into a deep volcanic crater lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far east, leaving up to eight people missing. Officials said at least eight survived. Emergency workers including divers were searching for survivors in Kurile Lake in the Kronotsky nature reserve. (Kamchatka regional government via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Rescuers on Saturday recovered the bodies of three out of the eight people missing after a helicopter carrying tourists plunged into a deep volcanic crater lake in Russia’s Far East.

The Mi-8 helicopter with 16 people on board crashed into Kurile Lake on the Kamchatka Peninsula while trying to land on the lake bank in deep fog. Eight people managed to escape the quickly sinking aircraft, and rangers for the Kronotsky natural reserve rescued them from the frigid water after rushing to crash site in boats.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said its workers lifted the bodies of three of the victims, including the helicopter’s pilot, from the bottom of the lake, where the crashed helicopter lay at a depth of 120 meters (394 feet).

Kamchatka Gov. Vladimir Solodov said high winds later Saturday forced the search team to suspend its work. The emergency workers plan to use underwater robots Sunday to recover the bodies of other victims from inside the submerged helicopter.

Two of the eight survivors were badly injured in the crash and were taken to the intensive care unit at a local hospital.

Kamchatka, a pristine peninsula with numerous volcanoes, is known for its rugged beauty and rich wildlife. Kurile Lake is up to 316 meters (1,037 feet) deep and covers an area of 77 square kilometers (30 square miles).

Authorities have banned Vityaz-Aero, a local carrier that operated the crashed helicopter, from transporting passengers pending an investigation into a possible violation of flight safety rules. The company is the biggest of several local carriers which fly tourists to the Kronotsky reserve, a top tourist attraction that houses Russia’s only geyser basin.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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3 bodies found after helicopter crash in Russia’s Kamchatka