Russian helicopter crashes in Malaysia

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KUALA-LUMPUR, September 4 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Chekushkin) - A Russian Ka-32 helicopter crashed on the island of Borneo in the state of Saravak (Malaysia) killing three Russian crewmembers, an official from the Russian Embassy in Malaysia said Sunday.

According to the official, crew leader Anatoly Seleznev, 49, pilot Andrei Gritsenko, 22, and mechanic Alexei Istomin, 38, have been killed in the crash on Saturday in a scarsely-populated area near the town of Kapit.

The K-32 helicopter from the Avialift (Vladivostok) fleet had been chartered to transport cargo in the timber cutting zone on the Island of Borneo.

At present, the Russian Embassy is conducting an investigation of the incident and making efforts to transport the bodies of the victims to Russia.

It is the second accident with a Ka-32 helicopter in Malaysia in the past two years. In April 2004, another Ka-32 helicopter crashed in the same region of Borneo while transporting timber. The crew leader was killed, and the second pilot and the mechanic were injured.

Russian Ka-32 helicopters are used to transport timber in the mountainous regions of Malaysia that are not accessible by ground vehicles.

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