AMILTEPEC – The magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Friday (16/2/2018) local time that rocked Mexico, it triggered another tragedy, although no casualties were reported by the quake caused by the incident.
However, ministry-owned helicopters traveling to the epicenter landed violently, killing 13 people and wounding 15.
UH-60 Black Hawk military helicopter crashed in the town of Pinotepa de Don Luis, Santiago Jamiltepec, Oaxaca state, about 37 km from the epicenter. The helicopter crashed to the ground and destroyed the van that was carrying earthquake victims.
In the event of an accident, the power goes off and the day is dark. The helicopter brought Home Minister Alfonso Navarrete and the Governor of the State of Oaxaca Aljandro Murat. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the two officials were not injured.
“Unfortunately, some people on the ground lost their lives and others were injured,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Oaxaca prosecutor’s office has confirmed the death toll of five women, four men and three children, while another died on the way to the hospital.
Rescue teams quickly arrived at the crash site to evacuate survivors. However, it is unclear as to the possibility of a dead helicopter passenger.
According to Navarrete, helicopter pilots lost control about 40 meters above the ground when they were about to land. He added that several passengers of the helicopter also suffered injuries.
About 50 houses in the nearby town of Santiago Jamiltepec were damaged, as did the town hall and church. However, there were no casualties in the earthquake.
Oaxaca state authorities have opened shelters for earthquake-affected communities. Nearly 6/000 soldiers and police are assigned to assist emergency response.