Aug. 11 (UPI) — At least eight survivors have been confirmed after an Mi-8 helicopter carrying 16 people crashed in Russia on Wednesday.
Emergency services said that 13 tourists, including one child, and three crew members were on the helicopter when it crashed in the eastern Kamchatka Territory and that “eight people are alive” and have been rescued, Sputnik reported.
Crews are searching for the remainder of the passengers who are presumed to be missing.
The helicopter reportedly fell into Kuril Lake while flying in foggy conditions.
Officials said the helicopter was operated by Vityaz-Aero airline, which operates flights to remote areas including passenger transportation of tourists to hard-to-reach locations.
The cause of the crash is under investigation but it was known that the helicopter had been inspected before departure and had no technical problems. The crew also did not report any flight problems.
Authorities opened a criminal case for “violation of air transport safety rules resulting in the death of two or more persons” following the crash.
Kamchatka Gov. Vladimir Solodov departed to visit the crash site.