13 killed in Mexican minister’s helicopter crash

Soldiers of the Mexican army walk in front of a military helicopter and van in Santiago Jamiltepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico. A 7.2-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico, triggering a tragedy when a minister’s helicopter crash-landed on the way to the site. (PATRICIA CASTELLANOS/AFP) The UH-60 Black Hawk military helicopter landed on its side, crushing a van. There were no reported casualties from the quake itself, which damaged buildings. The chopper was carrying Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Oaxaca state Governor Alejandro Murat, who were unharmed, President Enrique Pena Nieto said. “Unfortunately, multiple people on the ground lost their lives and others were injured,” he wrote on Twitter late Friday. On Saturday the Oaxaca prosecutor’s office said five women, four men, and three children were killed by the helicopter, while another victim died en route to hospital. Fifteen other people were injured, the office said in a statement. Rescuers quickly swarmed the accident site searching for survivors. Navarrete told the Televisa network that the helicopter pilot lost control of the aircraft about 40 metres above the ground as it was coming in to land. He added that some passengers were hurt. The helicopter went down in the southwestern town of Pinotepa de Don Luis – 37 kilometres from the quake epicenter, according to the US Geological Survey. About 50 homes in the nearby town of Santiago Jamiltepec were damaged, as well as the town hall and church, but no one was killed in the quake, the interior ministry said. Oaxaca state authorities opened… [Read full story]


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