Russian helicopter crashes off Norway's coast

A view of Barentsburg

A view of Barentsburg

Norwegian rescuers searched on Thursday for a Russian helicopter missing at sea with eight people on board off the coast of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.

It was not immediately clear if the helicopter had crashed or if there were any injuries.

"The helicopter was supposed to fly from the Pyramid to Barentsburg".

A message about the crash appeared on the Twitter account of the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Center.


The helicopter, a MIL MI-8 which was on its way from the Pyramiden settlement to Barentsburg, a Russian mining community in the archipelago, went down two or three kilometers before reaching its destination, the rescue services said.

Agency spokesman Tore Hongset tells Norwegian news agency NTB they had not received any mayday signal from the helicopter.

The helicopter belongs to the Russian airline Convers Avia, TASS cited the company, which confirmed the accident, as saying.

Norway was afforded sovereignty of Svalbard, located around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the North Pole, under the 1920 Treaty of Paris. Russian coal company Arktikugol runs the coal mine at Barentsburg, which employs Russian and Ukrainian miners.

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