Two Russian tourists and a Russian sports star were mauled and eaten by bears after their helicopter crashed in the Russian wilderness.
World junior biathlon champion Igor Malinovsky, 25, died alongside Zoya Kaygorodova, a businesswoman and mobile phone company boss Sergey Kolesnyak, 39.
Malinovsky was piloting the helicopter in the Kamchatka peninsula in far east Siberia when it crashed on Saturday, July 16. It is believed the aircraft was en-route to the village of Milkovo, Malinovsky’s home.
The three travelers lost communication due to bad weather, before the Robinson chopper, named Nadezhda, caught fire.
Rescuers found the charred remains of the helicopter the next day, while an investigation allegedly determined their bodies were dragged away and eaten by bears after the crash.
‘The remains of the dead tourists after the crash of a Robinson helicopter in Kamchatka were dragged away by bears,’ said 5TV channel, citing local sources.
Malinovsky was a five-time junior world champion in biathlon, who had retrained as a pilot for a company run by his father Vladimir.
The cause of the crash is still unclear but an investigation will take place.
A statement from the Russian Emergencies Ministry read: ‘Unfortunately, none [of the three people on board] survived the crash.’