Russian chopper raised from Norwegian isle on Arctic seabed | News | DW | 04.11.2017
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Russian chopper raised from Norwegian isle on Arctic seabed

The helicopter went down last month off an island administered by Norway about 800 kilometers north of the mainland. Eight people died in the crash, but so far only one body has been recovered.

On Saturday, Norwegian authorities raised a Russian helicopter from the Arctic seabed after it went down in icy waters about 500 miles north of the mainland last month.

The chopper crashed October 26 off the coast of the Svalbard archipelago with eight people on board.

None of the missing people were inside the Mi-8 military helicopter — which was found at a depth of over 200 meters (660 feet) — when it went down last week, and so far only one body has been recovered. 

The crumpled remains of a Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter

The crumpled remains of the Russian Mi-8 helicopter on the deck of a recovery ship

Norway's Accident Investigation Board, which is overseeing the recovery effort, said the cockpit voice recorder had been recovered but the flight data recorder remained missing. The voice recorder will be sent to Moscow for analysis.

Search for bodies

The recovery operation is based aboard the Maersk Forza vessel, which is equipped with a large crane. Russian divers and manufacturing experts for the Mi-8 helicopter were part of the recovery effort, just off Spitzbergen, the main island in the Svalbard archipelago.

A Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter in flight over an Arctic landscape.

A Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter

The search continues for the missing crew and passengers, all of whom were Russian nationals. They included a five-man crew and three polar scientists. Efforts to find the data recorder were also continuing.

Read more: Russian visit to Norwegian island violates travel ban

The chopper went down last week as it flew from the former coal-mining settlement of Pyramiden on Spitzbergen to the Russian settlement of Barentsburg in the south.

Read more: Deadly avalanche strikes remote Norwegian village

One body was recovered Tuesday, and Russian experts are using sonar in the search for the other seven bodies.

Norway administers the archipelago, which is regulated by the international Svalbard Treaty, which gives other countries the right to exploit minerals and other natural resources.

bik/rc (AP, dpa)

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