MOSCOW, Aug 8, 2015:
Russian investigators said on Saturday they had found the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed last October with 14 people on board in a remote mountainous region of Siberia.
Rescuers “confirmed information that the Mi-8 helicopter of TuvaAvia airline that went missing on Oct 10 was found in an isolated mountainous area,” investigators said in a statement.
“According to provisional information, there were 11 passengers and 3 crew members on board.”
The helicopter was transporting workers who were returning from a hydroelectric project in the Siberian Buddhist region of Tuva, which borders Mongolia.
It crashed into a mountainside amid low cloud and falling snow and caught fire when it hit the ground, the spokesman for the regional emergencies ministry, Dmitry Kryzh, told TASS news agency.
“There is a very steep slope — with a gradient of around 45 degrees,” he said of the crash scene.
He said the helicopter most likely went undetected after the crash because it was quickly covered with snow.
The wreckage was initially spotted on Friday from the air by military helicopter pilots.
Rescuers were still searching for the helicopter’s black boxes which could have been swept downhill by rock falls, Kryzh said.
So far the remains of 10 people have been found.
“Unfortunately the crew and the passengers had no chance,” the leader of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, said in a statement.
It is not unknown for crashed aircraft to lie undetected for months in Russia’s sparsely populated countryside.
In 2013, a small plane was found in a marsh 11 months after it crashed in the Urals region of central Russia, killing all 13 on board.