Three dead, including two Britons, in Russia helicopter crash: official

21st July 2013, Comments 0 comments

Three people, including two British tourists, were killed in Russia's Far North on Sunday when they were crushed by their helicopter after it made an emergency landing, officials said.

The two Britons, who had travelled to the remote Murmansk region for an organised river fishing expedition, and their Russian translator were killed by the whirling rotors of the helicopter as the aircraft crash-landed on its side.

"Two tourists -- citizens of Britain -- and their guide-translator were killed in the accident," the Investigative Committee said in a statement. It said the two Britons were born in 1944 and their guide, who was from Murmansk, was born in 1960.

"After landing, the helicopter turned on its side and its rotors hit the passengers," the Investigative Committee said, adding that the pilot survived but was injured.

Previous reports had suggested that the three victims were already on the ground but it now appears they may have been in the helicopter and were killed as they tried to get out.

A distress signal had already been received from the Eurocopter-120 before it made the hard landing on the north of the Kola peninsula in the Murmansk region.

The Investigative Committee said that the accident happened on the Rynda river of the Lovozersky district of the Murmansk region.

The Life News website described the Britons as "VIP tourists" who were taking part in a fishing trip especially for foreigners.

Fishing expeditions to the salmon-rich rivers of the Far North are one of very few tourism attractions of Russia that bring in high-paying foreign tourists to regions beyond Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

"The foreign tourists were staying in a luxury camp for fishing," a security source told the Interfax news agency.

© 2013 AFP

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