Mexican helicopter crash leaves soldier dead

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This file photo shows a similar aircraft performing forestry work in California.
Image: Akradecki.

A soldier identified as flight mechanic Sgt. Dan Neftali Botello Ramos has died after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed yesterday in Guerrero, Mexico. Two other airmen among the ten on board have been hospitalised with serious injuries after the Bell 212 went down.

A defense department statement said that the helicopter was conducting operations related to "the permanent campaign against drug trafficking" and attributed the accident to a mechanical problem without elaborating. An officer and six other soldiers received less severe injuries in the crash.

President Felipe Calderon has commanded the military to provide assistance to the dead man's family. The accident occurred near the town of Vallecitos de Zaragoza, which is roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Ciudad Altamirano.