2 killed in Mexico helicopter crash, senior officials on board survive

Updated 2018-02-17 15:52:04 Xinhua

A helicopter carrying Mexico's interior minister and the governor of Oaxaca state crashed on Friday, killing at least two people on the ground, according to officials on board.

The accident occurred Friday night shortly before the helicopter's landing at Pinotepa Nacional, at a coastal town 11 km south of the epicenter of a 7.2-magnitude quake which had jolted Oaxaca state Friday afternoon.

Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete, who survived the crash along with Alejandro Murat, the governor of Oaxaca state, told local press that the helicopter crashed after the pilots "apparently lost control of the aircraft."

The minister later tweeted that after the accident, "unfortunately, two people who were on land, lost their lives."

The minister and governor were on a tour to survey the aftermath of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that had rocked the southern and central states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Michoacan and Mexico City.

After the strong quake, Mexico's National Seismological Service has recorded more than 194 aftershocks so far and there have been no immediate reports of serious damage and casualties.

Navarrete said about 998,000 people nationwide are left without power and some residential buildings suffered damage in Oaxaca state.

Mexico is located in an area of high seismicity due to interactions of several tectonic plates and the occurrence of earthquakes is quite common.

On Sept. 7 and 19 last year, Mexico saw two earthquakes of 8.2 and 7.1 magnitude respectively, which killed 471 people and damaged over 180,000 houses in eight states.

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