KIEV, Ukraine – A Ukrainian border guards' helicopter crashed into the Black Sea on Thursday, killing 12 people and critically injuring one other person, officials said.
The Mi-8 helicopter was carrying a crew of three and 10 passengers from the southern city of Odessa when it crashed into shallow waters near Zmeinyi Island just before noon, said Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Ihor Krol.
Rescuers found 12 bodies near the site of the crash, border guard spokesman Serhiy Astakhov said. The only survivor was hospitalized in a coma.
Crashes of the Mi-8 — a workhorse helicopter used widely in civilian aviation and the military — occur frequently in Ukraine and Russia and often are blamed on poor maintenance and excessive age.