MOSCOW — A Russian helicopter carrying nine people, including senior rescue service officials, has crashed in the Irkutsk region of southern Siberia, an official said Monday.
“Now rescuers have arrived at the scene and are disembarking beside the wreckage of the helicopter,” the region’s deputy emergency minister Valentin Nelyubov told the RIA Novosti news agency.
On board were nine people, not 10 as initially reported, Nelyubov said, adding that the helicopter was carrying 1.9 tons of explosives for breaking up ice blocking a river.
The regional ministry said earlier Friday that the helicopter carrying the region’s acting emergency situations chief, Stanislav Omelyanchik, had flown out to take part in a flood rescue operation using explosives to break up the ice.
The helicopter was spotted on the ground at 1038 GMT after it went off the radar, the emergency ministry said in a statement.
The multifunctional Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter is used by the military and by UN peacekeepers.