According to Norwegian rescue officials, a Russian military helicopter that disappeared with eight people on board has been found on the seabed near the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard.
In an official statement, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center for northern Norway said that the missing Mi-8 helicopter went down Thursday near Svalbard settlement of Barentsburg. Currently, they do not believe any of the aircraft’s passengers survived the crash, and the majority of the helicopter has been located approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Heer, nearly 700 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.
The wreckage was discovered using the assistance of a Norwegian drone submarine, and the entire operation has no shifted toward looking for the eight Russians on board, five crew members and three scientists, that have yet to be accounted for. Yevgeny Saidov, head of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations special group at the site, told the press on Sunday that Russian remote controlled submersible vehicles will soon be on scene to assist in the effort.
Although the helicopter was the same model used by the Russian military, the aircraft that crashed was reportedly owned by the Russian coal company Arktikugol, and operated by a third-party charter company, Konvers Avia. The helicopter was on its way to a small coal mining town called Barentsburg when it went down.