MEXICO CITY – Thirteen people died and 15 others were injured in the crash of an air force helicopter carrying Mexico’s interior secretary and the governor of the southern state of Oaxaca, officials said on Saturday.
The helicopter crashed Friday night while it was approaching Jamiltepec, a town in Oaxaca.
Government Secretary Alfonso Navarrete and Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat were on board the aircraft but escaped the crash unharmed.
The Oaxaca state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement on Saturday that 13 people died, one of whom perished in a local hospital, and that 15 others who were injured have received medical treatment.
Navarrete and Murat were traveling to the town of Jamiltepec to assess the damage caused by a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that shook central and southern Mexico on Friday.
The aircraft, which was transporting government authorities, military personnel and emergency management officials, plunged to the ground and struck several vehicles, Navarrete said Friday night.
Twelve people – including three minors – died at the scene of the crash, while one other individual perished at the hospital in Jamiltepec, the state AG’s office said on Saturday.
Navarrete said on Twitter that the crash occurred as the helicopter was flying over Pinotepa Nacional, a city in Oaxaca’s Jamiltepec District and the location of the quake’s epicenter.
No fatalities have been reported as a result of Friday’s quake, which left two people slightly injured, damaged 50 homes and left around 1 million people without power.
Around half of those who lost their electricity live in 112 Mexico City neighborhoods, according to state-owned electric utility CFE.