8 dead as helicopter and seaplane collide near Moscow

MOSCOW - Rescuers recovered eight bodies from a reservoir outside Moscow on Sunday following the collision of a helicopter and a seaplane in midair, with one other person missing and believed also killed in the crash.

"We confirm that so far the bodies of eight dead have been found," the deputy governor of the Moscow region told the Interfax news agency.

Two of the victims of the crash were children, the emergencies ministry said.

The privately owned Cessna seaplane and a Robinson R44 helicopter collided over the Istrinskoye reservoir late on Saturday and fell into the water, the ministry said.

The picturesque reservoir about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Moscow is popular for watersports.

The emergencies ministry said the helicopter, which was taking a pleasure trip around the area, had three passengers and the pilot on board, while the seaplane had four passengers and the pilot.

Investigators have opened a probe into breaches of aviation safety rules.

A source in the Russian civil aviation agency told RIA Novosti state news agency that the seaplane pilot had not told air traffic control about the flight from an aerodrome beside the reservoir.

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