A Crashed Russian Helicopter Was Raised From its Arctic Seabed


On Saturday, a Russian helicopter was raised from the seabed where it had crashed last October off the Arctic Svalbard archipelago of Norway with eight people on board.

The Accident Investigation Board of Norway says that none of the missing people were found inside the helicopter that went down October 26 near the Svalbard settlement of Barentsburg. So far, only one body has been recovered from the wreckage of the Mi-8 helicopter, which was located at a depth of almost 210 meters (685 feet).

The agency says that the cockpit voice recorder of the helicopter was found when the aircraft was brought to the surface early on Saturday by a ship that was equipped with a sturdy crane. It will then be sent to Moscow together with the GPS units that are from the helicopter for analysis.

It said that the search continued for the flight data recorder of the helicopter, which had not yet been found, and the missing passengers and crew.

The helicopter had been carrying three members that were from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Russia and five crew members.

The helicopter crashed near Barentsburg, the second-largest settlement of the archipelago, which is a Russian coal-mining town of around 500 people. The helicopter came from the Russian hamlet of Pyramiden, a largely abandoned mine that draws in some tourists to witness its empty Soviet-era buildings.

“We continue to comb the coast with people from the police and the Red Cross,” stated Gunnar Johansen, a spokesperson for the local governor.

According to the website of the governor, over 150 people have searched more than 124 miles (200 kilometers) of coastal areas — some places twice – since the crash.

According to an international 1920 treaty, Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard, which is around 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of its mainland. Other signatory countries also have rights to exploit the natural resources of the archipelago, including Russia.

Formerly recognized as Spitzbergen, the archipelago is known for its stunning snow-covered mountains, glaciers, and fjords.