Four dead, seven missing after tug sinks in Russian Arctic

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Four sailors died and seven were missing in the frigid waters of the Russian Arctic on Friday after their tugboat sank, officials said.

The boat went down in the early hours of the morning close to the port of Tiksi in the Yakutia region of the Russian Far East, deep inside the Arctic Circle, the investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement.

"The bodies were recovered by helicopter," said an emergency situations ministry official said, quoted by Interfax.

Three members of the crew including the captain were rescued and were in a satisfactory condition, the ITAR-TASS news agency said.

It said that the tugboat was called out overnight to assist a fishing vessel that ran into difficulties while at anchor in high winds at the mouth of the Lena river around Tiksi.

The search operation would resume at first light on Saturday.

© 2010 AFP

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