Russian helicopter with nine aboard crashes in Siberia

MOSCOW Mon May 6, 2013 9:05am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A helicopter with nine people aboard including Russian Emergency Ministry officials crashed in eastern Siberia on Monday, the ministry said, and Itar-Tass reported it was also carrying two tons of explosives used to blow up ice on frozen rivers.

Debris from the Mi-8 helicopter was spotted in Russia's Irkutsk province later in the day. Interfax reported that search and rescue teams had found human remains and that it was unclear whether there were any survivors.

Accidents involving Mi-8 aircraft are frequent in Russia, which has been criticized for its poor air safety record. The Soviet-designed helicopter is widely used for ferrying people and cargo to remote areas of the world's largest country.

(Reporting By Alexei Anishchuk)

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