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Search Operation for Missing Helicopter Continues

Nine rescue aircraft are searching for an MI-8 helicopter that went missing during a commercial flight in Russia's Far East.

The helicopter's four crew members and one additional passenger were transporting about three tons of food from the village Tugur to Bryakan, but the air-traffic control center lost contact with the helicopter at 9.50 p.m. Thursday, Interfax reported.

A rescue team of 140 people, as well as four airplanes and five helicopters, have been deployed to help find the missing helicopter and it's crew.

"We have already covered about 4,000 square kilometers, but without positive results. The fate of the helicopter and its crew is still unknown," the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The helicopter was being piloted by the deputy head of the Khabarovsk region flight training school, a source in the security services told Interfax. However, he was unable to vouch for the experience of the other crew members.

Weather conditions on the helicopter's flight-path were "good for flying" yesterday. There were no heavy downpours, and the wind speed was only 10 meters per second in the Polina- Osipenko district, 6,000 kilometers east of Moscow, according to the ministry's press-service.

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