Vladivostok, Russia; 21 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Teams of rescuers and the military today resumed the search for a missing helicopter in Russia's Far East. Emergency officials say there were at least 17 passengers on board the Mi-8 helicopter, including Igor Farkhutdinov, the governor of Sakhalin island. Most of the remaining passengers were also senior regional officials.
Four airplanes and a dozen helicopters as well as border patrol boats and ships off the Kamchatka coast have joined the search operation.
The Mi-8 helicopter, which also had three crew on board, was flying from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, on the Kamchatka peninsula, to Severo-Kurilsk, on the Kuril islands, when it lost radio contact soon after take-off early yesterday.