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Helicopter carrying 1.9 tonnes of explosives crashes in Irkutsk region with nine feared killed

By The SIberian Times reporter
06 May 2013

A helicopter carrying ammonite - used to break ice - crashed in Irkutsk region after 'exploding in mid air'.

Reports said bodies were spotted at the scene from the rescue helicopter, and later two bodies were found, but there are no signs of survivors. The men were on a mission to liquidate ice jams on Lower Tunguska River, where water sharply rose threatening to flood the village of Priobrazhenka. Picture: Angara Airlines

Another pilot witnessed the shocking explosion, said one report. On board were four officials of the Emergencies Ministry and three crew, and several others.

Reports said bodies were spotted at the scene from the rescue helicopter, and later two bodies were found, but there are no signs of survivors. The men were on a mission to liquidate ice jams on Lower Tunguska River, where water sharply rose threatening to flood the village of Priobrazhenka.

Divers will Tuesday look for more remains in the river. 

'The helicopter was found with signs of wreckage 7 km from the village of Priobrazhenka, in Katangsky district,' a ministry official Irina Rossius told Itar-Tass.

Earlier the Mi-8 helicopter, owned by Angara Airlines, had lost radio contact. 

'Now rescuers have arrived at the scene and are disembarking beside the wreckage of the helicopter', another officials told RIA Novosti. 

'This is a hard-to-access area in the northern districts of the region, which can be reached only by air', said another source.

Explosives are used to break ice so as to avoid floods engulfing remote villages.

On board the helicopter was the acting head of Irkutsk region main emergencies department, Igor Chekrygin.

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