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Missing Russian helicopter found on Arctic seabed off coast of Norway

By
Brooks Hays
The Russian helicopter that disappeared off the coast of the Svalbard archipelago last week was an Mi-8 helicopter, the same model as the helicopter in the photograph. Photo by ScSergey Chirikov/European Pressphoto Agency
The Russian helicopter that disappeared off the coast of the Svalbard archipelago last week was an Mi-8 helicopter, the same model as the helicopter in the photograph. Photo by ScSergey Chirikov/European Pressphoto Agency

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Search and rescue authorities have found the missing Russian helicopter that crashed into the ocean last week. The remains of the helicopter were found on the floor of the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Norway's Svalbard archipelago.

The missing helicopter was discovered with the help of a remote-controlled submarine operated by officials with Norway's Joint Rescue Coordination Centers. The search and rescue mission was also aided by Russian personnel and equipment.

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Eight people were aboard the helicopter that went missing last Thursday. Norwegian police said they would coordinate searches for the lost passengers, but the five crew and threw scientists are feared dead.

While Norway governs the Svalbard archipelago and its only permanently populated island, Spitsbergen, Russia maintains a small coal-mining operation in Barentsburg, the island's second-largest settlement.

"The search and rescue effort is conducted in the best way possible, the cooperation between the authorities of the two countries functions well," Vyacheslav Nikolayev, Russian consul general in Spitsbergen, told a Norwegian TV station.

The helicopter went missing last Thursday afternoon, at 3:35 p.m. local time. The craft was operated by Arktikugol, a Russian coal-mining company. At the time of its disappearance, the helicopter was traveling back to Barentsburg from Pyramiden, an abandoned coal mining settlement.

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