According to early data, the cause of the helicopter accident in Kamchatka was crew mistake, a law enforcement source said TASS on Thursday.
“The pilot mistake version is currently in the spotlight. When the helicopter was descending in heavy fog, the crew couldn’t see where it was going and landed up on the surface of the sea, where it sank within seconds. Those who were able to quickly get their bearings and ascend from a depth of one meter to ten meters survived,” according to the source.
He also stated that no technical problems had been detected based on early data.
Meanwhile, an emergency service source informed TASS that Russian journalist and economist Nikolai Korzhenevsky, a news anchor for the Rossiya 24 TV station, was among those who survived the chopper accident. “Journalist Nikolai Korzenevsky was on board the Mi-8 [helicopter] when it crashed. He escaped and was rescued “, according to the source.
A total of eight individuals, including two crew members, were rescued. The chopper captain and seven passengers, including a toddler, were slain.
A Mi-8 helicopter carrying 16 persons, including 13 passengers, crashed into Kuril Lake in Kamchatka’s Kronotsky Nature Reserve. At the scene, medical personnel and rescuers are working. A criminal investigation into the crash has been launched. Eight survivors were flown to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.