Fifth body from Mi-2 crash found in Russia's Far East

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Rescuers believe they have found a fifth victim killed in a helicopter crash early October in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia's Far East, local emergency service said Monday.

"The body was discovered four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the scene of the accident, but at present we are unable to confirm the man was on the helicopter at the time of the tragedy," the spokesman said adding that identification was under way.

The Mi-2 circled the village of Ustyevoye October 4 and suddenly crashed into the sea about 100 meters (330 feet) off the coast. Earlier reports said the emergencies service had been alerted by villagers, who heard a rattle as the helicopter ditched into the Sea of Okhotsk.

The body of a pilot and two passengers were discovered the same day. A fourth body was recovered two days later. The overall death toll in the accident is still unknown, the spokesman added.

The Mi-2, an 8-passenger helicopter with a flight range of about 600 kilometers (370 miles), belonged to a private insurance company. Officials said it was making an uncoordinated flight.

Earlier accidents involving Mi-2s include a crash last year, when two men died in the Far East's Maritime Territory, the helicopter wreckage and two bodies were found in July 2007.

Four people were killed and two seriously injured in a Mi-2 accident in the northwest Vologda Region in December 2005, when a helicopter crashed while flying over a natural gas pipeline.

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