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Charged for Flying People into Eruption Area

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Charged for Flying People into Eruption Area

Holuhraun eruption 2014

From Holuhraun. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A helicopter pilot from Reykjavík Helicopters has been charged by the Northeast Iceland Chief of Police for landing three times with passengers and letting them out in a restricted area during the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun, Vísir reports.

The first two landings occurred in September, 2014, and the third a month later.

The third landing received more attention than others, since one of the passengers, Goga Ashkenazi, a billionaire form Kazakhstan, posted a picture of herself at the eruption site on Instagram. The picture showed the passengers jumping around just a few meters from the eruption, much closer than was permitted.

Poisonous gases, which experts described as potentially fatal, measured in high quantities in the area, and risks included steam explosions, a glacial outburst flood and volcanic ash, giving authorities ample reason to close off the area to all but scientists and media personnel with special permits.

The court case will be filed in the Northeast District Court on January 14.

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