A tourist helicopter crashed in Russian sea

A tourist helicopter carrying 16 people crashed into a lake in the Russian Far East.

Russian media quoted officials from the Ministry of Emergencies as saying that there are eight known survivors.

When the Mi-8 crashed and sank in Lake Qiandao on the Kamchatka Peninsula, 13 tourists were on board, including a child and three crew members.

Authorities said the helicopter was at a depth of 137 meters (450 feet) and the various were unable to operate it.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said the Vityaz-Aero plane crashed about 700 meters from the coast, adding that professional deep-sea equipment is expected soon.

One of the survivors, Viktor Stvolkin, later told dramatically how he managed to escape from the crashed plane.

The Russian news agency quoted him as saying that he fell asleep during the flight and only woke up when “the water hit my face in the stream”.

“My friend’s son is sitting next to me. He’s buckled up and I don’t have time to pull him [to let go of him]. I can only untie myself.”

Sorkin added that he managed to escape from a broken window in the cabin from a depth of around two to ten meters.

The Ministry of Emergency Situations said that, according to preliminary information, the plane was flying from the village of Nikolaevka to Lake Qiandao and Khodutka Volcano when it crashed.

According to RIA Novosti, the Mi-8, a medium-sized twin-turbo helicopter, carries tourists from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The mountainous Kamchatka Peninsula, more than 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) east of Moscow, is popular with tourists.

In July, all 28 people on board an airplane died in an accident on the peninsula.

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