MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – At least twelve people died after a transport Mil Mi-8 helicopter crashed into a lake in the Murmansk region, Russia’s North West, a representative of operational headquarters for the accident said Monday.
Rescuers found five bodies on the crash site bringing the total number of the casualties to twelve, he said.
Nine bodies have been identified so far. Murmansk region deputy governor Sergei Skomorokhov is among the dead.
The Mil Mi-8 helicopter crashed on Saturday evening.
The ministry of emergency situations announced that 18 people were on board, two of them survived the accident and were taken to a local hospital. High-ranking officials are believed to be onboard of the aircraft including a deputy minister as well as the CEO of Apatit, a phosphate refining giant based in the region, and some other senior company officials.
The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a probe into the crash. Two possible causes are currently being investigated – a technical failure and poor weather conditions that left the pilot disorientated.