Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Helicopter crashes while assessing Mexico quake damage, killing 13 on the ground

Helicopter crashes while assessing Mexico quake damage, killing 13 on the ground

At least 1,000 homes were damaged in Oaxaca, the state's governor, Alejandro Murat, told a Mexican television program on Saturday, higher than earlier estimates of damage. The department said the victims had been waiting for the helicopter, but did not provide more details. Earlier this month, an intelligence agent from an agency overseen by Navarrete's department was caught tailing an opposition presidential candidate.

The only fatalities resulting from the magnitude 7.2 natural disaster in Mexico on Friday were 13 people on the ground hit by a crashing military Blackhawk helicopter on Saturday. About 50 homes were damaged, as well as the town hall and church, according to the Interior Department.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said via Twitter that both officials and crew were fine, but some people on the ground had been killed or injured.

Two people suffered fractures and non-life threatening injuries in Pinotepa Nacional in Santiago Jamiltepec.

Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca requested federal emergency funds on Sunday to supply food, shelter and health services in more than 30 municipalities battered by last week's powerful quake in a region still reeling from temblors in September.

Jorge Morales, a local reporter who was aboard the helicopter when it crashed, described harrowing moments as the pilot lost control and the helicopter attempted to touch down in a swirl of dust.

The tragedy struck Friday night as a military helicopter flew the interior minister and other officials to an area near the epicentre of a 7.2-magnitude quake that shook Mexico earlier that evening. The aircraft had reportedly touched down in the landing area marked out by a perimeter of vehicles when it slid sideways and rolled onto the van.

Mexican authorities are reporting damage in a southern town from Friday's magnitude 7.2 natural disaster.

The epicenter is a rural area of western Oaxaca state near the Pacific coast and the border with Guerrero state.

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