15:18 GMT +324 March 2018
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    MOSCOW, 6 March - RIA Novosti. The Russian Emergency Ministry reported to RIA Novosti that the rescue operation to evacuate polar explorers has been completed successfully.

    A representative of the Emergency ministry stated that "presently polar explorers from the Severny Polyus-32 ice-drift unit were on board a helicopter on its way to Spitsbergen". According to him, on 7 March polar explorers would fly to Saint Petersburg on board an aircraft.

    On 3 March the unit was caught in a compression area. A resulting bank of ice hummocks covered part of housing and service premises. None of 12 polar explorers was injured.

    According to the Arctic regional department of the Russian Federal Security Service, MI-8 and MI-26 helicopters are to land on Spitsbergen about 20.00 Moscow time.

    It took the MI-26 helicopter crew about 20 minutes to evacuate polar explorers.

    After their return to Spitsbergen the helicopters' crews will rest, according to applicable regulations, for not less than 8 hours.

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