BARENTSBURG CRASH UPDATE (5:20 P.M. FRIDAY): Coast Guard and governor prepare for second night of searches; Russian plane arrives as Danish one departs


Darkness descended on Barentsburg late Friday afternoon after several hours of searching the sea near the settlement by twilight without success for a helicopter that crashed with eight people aboard a day earlier. Rescue ships from the Svalbard governor’s office and Norwegian Coast Guard are preparing for a second night of what is still officially classified as a search-and-rescue mission.

“We are still searching for survivors,” Geir Mortensen, a spokesperson for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Northern Norway, told Svalbardposten. “The exploration action has not gone beyond to be search for presumed victims. We have also not set any time for when that will be applicable.”

A Russian plane carrying rescue personnel and equipment was scheduled to participate in rescue efforts after arriving. A Danish military plane that participated in the search Thursday and Friday is returning to Greenland after its efforts were unsuccessful, according to NRK.