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OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian rescuers were searching for a second day on Friday for a Russian helicopter that went missing at sea with eight people on board off the coast of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

"There is still no wreckage found from the helicopter, but an oil spill has been observed in the area," Norway's joint rescue centre said in a statement.

A search during the night with a remotely operated submarine had yielded no sign of the Russian-made Mil Mi-8 aircraft, dashing earlier hopes that a submerged wreckage had indeed been located.

Increasing wind speeds were also complicating efforts in a region that has almost no daylight at this time of the year.

Russia's Emergency Ministry on Thursday said the five crew and three passengers were all Russians.

Located around 700 kilometres (435 miles) north of the European mainland, Svalbard is governed under a treaty that grants NATO-member Norway sovereignty while allowing other signatories to do business and exploit natural resources.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Peter Graff)

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