(Reuters) – An Mi-8 helicopter belonging to Russia’s emergencies ministry crashed into a lake in the country’s northern Karelia region with three crew members on board, the ministry said on Monday, adding that an underwater search was underway.

“The plane was on a training flight,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app. “The helicopter was flown by an experienced crew with thousands of flight hours.”

The wreckage of the helicopter, which disappeared from radar late on Sunday, was found 11 km (6.8 miles) from the shore of the Lake Onega, Europe’s second largest lake, in Karelia, at a depth of 50 m (164 feet).

The ministry said divers and a remote-controlled underwater vehicle were being deployed. It did not provide any information on the status of the crew members.

The Karelia region is divided into two parts: the Finnish Karelia region and the Russian Republic of Karelia in the northwestern part of Russia, between the White and Baltic seas, where the helicopter crashed.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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