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Russia helicopter crash toll climbs to 11

Written by: Staff
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MOSCOW, Sep 12 (Reuters) Russian officials today revised up to 11 the death toll from a military helicopter crash after finding one more body in the wreckage.

A military commander said the aircraft most likely flew into a hillside in thick cloud, ruling out action by anti-Moscow insurgents who are active in the North Caucasus region where the helicopter came down.

''The Mi-8 helicopter crashed with 12 senior officers and commanders on board ... as well as three crew. Eleven of them died,'' the Prosecutor General's office said in a statement.

Officials had said yesterday that ten people died in the crash.

The four survivors are in hospital.

''It seems (the pilot) got disorientated, did not take the right precautionary measures to get out of cloud and clipped the tops of the trees,'' North Caucasus military commander Alexander Baranov said on NTV television.

REUTERS SAM RK1615

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