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    BOTH PILOTS OF HELICOPTER THAT MADE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN KYRGYZIAN MOUNTAINS ARE DEAD

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    BISHKEK, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Yulia Orlova) - People died and were injured, when a helicopter made an emergency landing in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan yesterday, the Ministry of the Ecology and Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan told RIA Novosti.

    According to preliminary information, both helicopter pilots are dead, 15 passengers were wounded, seven of them are in critical condition. The pilots may have died when the helicopter was making an emergency landing. According to preliminary information, the helicopter collided with a rock.

    Heavy snowfall, low visibility and strong winds have prevented helicopters from being sent to the rescue of the crash victims.

    Rescue workers from the Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan have discovered the helicopter that made an emergency landing in the high mountainous At-Bashinsky district of the Naryn Region of Kyrgyzstan on the border with China at 11:00 a.m. local time.

    According to preliminary information, the helicopter was forced to land because of a technical malfunction.

    Two Americans and one Canadian as well as Kyrgyzstanis were passengers of the helicopter.

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