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    Six believed dead after helicopter crash in Russia's Far East

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    Six people including two Polish tourists are believed dead following a crash of an Mi-8 helicopter in the Magadan Region in Russia's Far East, the emergencies ministry said.

    VLADIVOSTOK, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Six people including two Polish tourists are believed dead following a crash of an Mi-8 helicopter in the Magadan Region in Russia's Far East, the emergencies ministry said.

    Seven people were on board the helicopter, owned by the forest firefighting service, when it went down on Saturday. One person, believed to be the pilot, survived the crash, and has been hospitalized in a severe condition.

    The burnt-out wreckage of the helicopter was found on Sunday in the remote region. "The group that found the remains of the helicopter saw charred bodies inside. However, it's not yet possible to say exactly how many there are," said Olga Alkina, a spokeswoman for the ministry's Far East center.

    Crashes of Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters, first introduced to the Soviet Air Force in the late 1960s, are a relatively common occurrence in Russia. Several accidents involving the helicopter have occurred in recent months.

    An Mi-8 with six crew members on board disappeared on September 9 in west Siberia's Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, and has yet to be found. Another Mi-8 crashed in the same region in early July, but all passengers and crew survived. In early July a pilot was killed and another injured when an Mi-8 Russian border guard helicopter crashed near the Estonian border.

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