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Home* News and Stories → Russian helicopter crashed near Barentsburg

Russian helicopter crashed near Barentsburg

There will be updates (see bottom end of this article) as further information becomes available.

A Russian MI-8 helicopter crashed near Barentsburg and fell into the sea in Isfjord. The helicopter was on the way from Pyramiden to Barentsburg with 8 persons on board.

The emergency call from the airport tower Longyearbyen was received at 15.35 local time by the emergency response centre North Norway. Norwegian search and rescue (SAR) forces are on location with helicopter and ships. The crash site is in the Isfjord, 2-3 kilometres away from Heerodden, the Russian helicopter base at Barentsburg.

No information is currently available regarding the condition of the 8 persons on board. There is a breeze (7-8 m/s) and the visibility is affected by snowfall.

According to Norwegian law, the Russian helicopters in Spitsbergen are only allowed to fly for company purposes. Charter flights, for example for film teams or scientists, are not permitted. This makes it likely that the 8 people on board were employees of the owner of the helicopter, Trust Arktikugol.

Update: next to the pilot (Baranov Evgeny), co-pilot (Frolov Vladimir), flight engineer (Alexei Poulyauskas), a technician (Mihtar Marat), and an engineer (Korolev Aleksey), there were 3 scientists of the Institute for Arctic and Antarctic Research in St. Petersburg on board: Golovanov Oleg, Fadeev Nicholas, Kaulio Maksim. The names were released in the Russian press.

Update: Dmitrij Zjeljazkov, director of Konvers Avia, the company that owns and operates the helicopter, has told the Russian news agency Tass that the 3 passengers were miners of the Trust Arktikugol.

Russian MI-8 helicopter at the airport Longyearbyen (archive image).

Russian airport Spitsbergen.

Source: NRK

last modification: 2017-10-26 · copyright: Rolf Stange