At least eight people were proclaimed dead after a helicopter crashed in a lake on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia’s Far East on Thursday.
16 people were on board, including three crew members and 13 passengers.
According to a local health ministry source, nine people were rescued.
However, seven passengers were unaccounted for.
“Nine people have been found, they are all alive,” a local health ministry source revealed.
Meanwhile, a search operation has been launched and rescue workers are on standby, the sources added.
Unnamed medical sources told TASS that the remaining eight were feared dead. But their fate was not immediately confirmed.
The Russian Investigation Committee has opened an investigation into the incident for violation of air safety rules.
Second Crash in One Month
Last July, 28 people on board of Antonov An-26 twin-engined turboprop died in a crash in Kamchatka.
The plane was flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana, before losing contact with air traffic control while attempting to land.
At least 30 people were on board, including six crew members and two children.
The incident comes only two days after a Philippine air force aircraft crashed on a southern island on July 4, killing 50 people.
The July 4 crash is the worst air disaster for the Asian country in nearly three decades.
Russia, once known for aircraft-related accidents, has improved its air traffic safety records in the past few years.
However, poor maintenance of air crafts and a low level of safety standards still prevail.
The country’s main airlines have shifted from aging Soviet aircraft to more modern planes.
But maintenance issues and lax compliance with safety rules have remained a problem.
Flying is also dangerous in the country’s isolated regions with difficult weather conditions.