A Russian helicopter crashed near Norwegian Arctic territory with all eight people on board reportedly dead, local authorities said Thursday.
The north Norwegian search and rescue service wrote on Twitter that the helicopter went down near the barren Arctic island of Spitsbergen.
After local media reported that a rescue helicopter was dispatched to the site, an unnamed Norwegian border services representative told the news website FlashNord that all eight people had died.
The helicopter, according to state-run RIA Novosti news agency, belonged to Tver-based Konvers Avia shuttle airline, which operates a fleet of transport helicopters
It plunged into the sea some 2-3 km off the island’s Russian settlement, Barentsburg, having left from another settlement called Pyramiden.
Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago, is an international demilitarized and free economic zone considered a sovereign entity of Norway.