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Mi-24 combat helicopter crashes in Saratov Region, crew killed

RIA Novosti

03/02/2009 18:34 MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - A Mi-24 Hind combat helicopter crashed on Tuesday in the Saratov Region in Russia's Volga Federal District, killing the crew, a spokesman for the Russian Air Force said.

"The accident occurred Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. Moscow time [08:45 GMT] at Pugachyov aerodrome in the Saratov Region. The helicopter crashed 18 kilometers from the aerodrome," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.

Vladimir Belykh, the military prosecutor of the Saratov garrison, said two bodies were found at the crash site.

Local emergencies services said three people died and Belykh said a search for the third body was underway.

Drik said the flight recorders had been recovered.

He added that Mi-24 flights have been suspended, saying it is normal practice while crashes are investigated.

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