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Russia Recovers Bodies From Far East Helicopter Crash

The Mi-8 helicopter was carrying 16 tourists and crew when it crash-landed into a lake in the Kamchatka peninsula. Kronotsky Nature Reserve

Eight bodies have been recovered or found on board a helicopter that crashed into a lake on a sightseeing trip in Russia’s Far East, authorities said Monday.

The Mi-8 helicopter was carrying 16 tourists and crew when it crash-landed Thursday into the Kuril Lake in poor visibility in the Kamchatka peninsula 6,500 kilometers east of Moscow.

Eight people have been rescued, while eight others — including the only child on board — were missing and feared dead.

“Five victims' bodies have been raised and three bodies were found inside the helicopter,” Roman Vasilevsky, Kamchatka’s deputy governor, said in a statement.

Specialists will attempt to open the rear hatch and send a drone to recover the remaining three bodies, he added.

“The military is examining the bottom of the lake. A decision will be made in the near future on how to extract the helicopter to the surface,” Vasilevsky said.

Officials said the Vityaz-Aero helicopter, a firm co-owned by local lawmaker Igor Redkin — who made headlines last week for admitting to killing a man he mistook for a bear — had been in operation since 1984 but was in good condition.

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