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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Skydiving Teacher Jailed Over Deaths

A skydiving instructor was sentenced Monday to 3 1/2 years in a prison camp for negligence that led to the deaths of four teenage parachutists in northwestern Russia last summer, Itar-Tass reported.

The teenagers, who were taking part in a skydiving training class, were carried by strong winds July 31 into Lake Onega, a large lake in the republic of Karelia, where they then drowned.

Yury Koshelev, the head of the Petrozavodsk aviation club, was accused of having neglected safety rules. He was also piloting the plane carrying the teenagers.

Witnesses at the trial in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Karelian republic near the Finnish border, said that the young parachutists had not been given life vests.

They also said that there was no motorboat on the lake that could respond in case of an accident and that bad weather conditions were not taken into account.