Russian helicopter crashes off Arctic archipelago

2017-10-26 21:36
Russian helicopter in the hanger of the base at Kapp Heer, Barentsburg, Svalbard which has fallen into the sea off Svalbard. (Birger Amundsen, NTB scanpix via AP)

Russian helicopter in the hanger of the base at Kapp Heer, Barentsburg, Svalbard which has fallen into the sea off Svalbard. (Birger Amundsen, NTB scanpix via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Copenhagen - A Russian helicopter with eight people on board has fallen into the sea off Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago that belongs to Norway, rescue officials said Thursday.

The rescue service for northern Norway says the helicopter was en route to Barentsburg, Svalbard's second largest settlement, from the Russian settlement of Pyramiden.

"We have found oil on the water but no wreck," Olav Bjoergaas, a spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centers for northern Norway, told The Associated Press. He added that there was poor visibility and heavy snowfall in the region.

Svalbard is more than 800 km north of Norway's mainland. It's known for stunning views of snow-covered mountains, fjords and glaciers.

The rescue service said the helicopter went down 2 to 3 km from Barentsburg at 15.30.

The aircraft was a Russian Mili Mi-8 helicopter belonging to Russian charter company Konvers Avia.

Russian state news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti cited company deputy director Dmitry Zhelyazkov as saying there were eight people aboard — three pilots and five passengers.

Tore Hongset, another spokesperson for the rescue coordination center, told Norwegian news agency NTB that it did not receive any mayday signal from the helicopter.

"As far as we have heard, we are talking about a crash," Hongset said.

Several units, including two helicopters from the local Svalbard governor and ships from the coast guard and local fishermen were at the presumed crash site, Bjoergaas said. Local hospitals were on high alert.

In March 2008, three people were killed after a Russian Mi-8 helicopter with nine people on board crashed about 4 km from Barentsburg.

Read more on:    norway  |  russia  |  air crashes  |  aviation

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.