The head of the Chechen republic Ramzan Kadyrov has said strong winds were responsible for a fatal helicopter crash on Wednesday in the restive North Caucasus region.
The crash was just the latest in a series of fatal aviation accidents this year. A Russian military cargo plane crashed in Syria on Tuesday with 32 passengers dead, while earlier in February, a passenger jet crashed outside Moscow killing all 71 people on board.
In a post on his official Telegram page, Kadyrov said, “Strong winds were blowing as [the helicopter] approached the ground,” adding nine border patrol officers were on board.
“Two passengers managed to jump to the ground, but the helicopter was blown off a cliff. ... It crashed after falling 150 meters.”
The Interfax news agency reported Wednesday that the crash was caused by reduced visibility from snowfall and heavy rain.