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Seven killed in Russian helicopter crash

Jan. 11, 2009 at 1:01 PM

NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A helicopter crash in southern Siberia left seven people dead, a Russian Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman said Sunday.

Pavel Popov, the ministry's local deputy head, said among the dead was Alexander Kosopkin, who served as the envoy to the State Duma for President Dmitry Medvedev, RIA Novosti reported.

Four people on board the Mi-8 helicopter survived the crash, which occurred sometime after air traffic control officials lost contact with the flight Friday.

Two survivors were in critical condition and the other pair were said to be in satisfactory condition.

An unidentified Federal Security Service spokesman said the aircraft's wreckage was located Sunday in Russia's Altai Republic.

The republic's deputy prime minister, Anatoly Bannykh, who was among the survivors, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying in a phone conversation that "an engine malfunction occurred during the flight and the helicopter crashed."

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