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    INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES OF HELICOPTER CRASH IN KYRGYZSTAN UNDER WAY

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    BISHKEK, March 18, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Yulia Orlova) - The Prosecutor General's Office in Kyrgyzstan has launched an investigation into the crash of a Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies Mi-8 helicopter. Two people died and 22 were injured in the crash.

    On Thursday, the representatives of the state commission investigating the causes of the tragedy left for the crash site, the Prosecutor General's Office in Kyrgyzstan told RIA Novosti.

    Russian experts were invited to assist in determining the technical reasons for the crash.

    The helicopter crashed on Monday while trying to evacuate hunters trapped in the snow. The crash site is in the high mountainous At-Bashinsky district of the Naryn Region in Kyrgyzstan (near China).

    According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter fell to the ground a few minutes after it took off, it flipped over several times, and then slid down a hill. The crash site was found 24 hours after the crash occurred.

    Of the 24 people on board, two died and 22 were injured. Nine of the injured people are in critical condition. Two Americans and one Canadian, who were on a highland safari, were on the helicopter when it crashed.

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