By Associated Press - Monday, August 13, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) - A helicopter carrying climbers in Tajikistan crash-landed in the Central Asian nation’s mountains, killing five of the 18 people on board, a Tajik official said Monday.

The Mi-8 helicopter crash-landed Sunday while flying in strong winds and poor visibility in the Pamir Mountains, said Umeda Yusupova, a spokeswoman for Tajikistan’s Emergencies Committee. It was carrying 13 Russians, one Belarusian and one Spaniard back to their camp after they had climbed the 7,495-meter (24,590-foot) Ismoil Somoni Peak.

Three of the dead were Russian mountaineers and two were Tajik members of the helicopter crew, Yusupova said.

The remaining 12 climbers and one crewmember were evacuated Monday by rescue helicopters. She said the survivors had sustained injuries and were given medical assistance.

The mountain, which was once called Stalin Peak and then changed in 1962 to Communism Peak, was the Soviet Union’s highest mountain. After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, it became part of the independent Central Asian nation of Tajikistan. It was renamed in 1998 after a ruler of the Samanid dynasty.

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