Russian Copter Crashes and Sinks

A Russian helicopter crashed into the Sea of Okhotsk during joint rescue exercises with Japan today, killing one of the 13 people on board, emergency officials said.

The Mi-14 helicopter went down off the Russian island of Sakhalin, north of Japan's Hokkaido.

One of its rotor blades hit the water during exercises simulating an emergency response to an oil spill and aid to stricken ships, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The helicopter momentarily tried to gain flight again, before crashing into the sea.

Trying again to lift itself in the air, the helicopter's rotor blades propelled the aircraft into the sea nose first, causing it to capsize and explode.

All 13 people aboard were rescued from the aircraft, but three were injured.

One of them, a pilot, died on the way to a hospital on shore, the Ministry said.

They said five crew members and eight rescuers from of Russia's civil aviation agency had been aboard the helicopter when it went down.

Some of those rescued were taken aboard a Japanese vessel participating in the exercises.

Japanese divers were involved in the rescue operation, Russian new agencies reported.


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