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Mexico helicopter crash kills 13

A downed helicopter lays in its side in Santiago Jimitepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. The military helicopter carrying officials assessing damage from the Friday's earth quake crashed killing 13 people and injuring 15, all of them on the ground. (AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez)

A downed helicopter lays in its side in Santiago Jimitepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. The military helicopter carrying officials assessing damage from the Friday's earth quake crashed killing 13 people and injuring 15, all of them on the ground. (AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez)

SANTIAGO JAMILTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – At least 13 people on the ground, including three children, were killed when a Mexican military helicopter carrying top officials surveying damage from an earthquake crashed in a small town in the southern state of Oaxaca, authorities said on Saturday.

The helicopter, which was carrying Mexico’s interior minister and the state governor, crashed on top of two vans in an open field while trying to land at night in Santiago Jamiltepec after a tour of damage from Friday’s powerful quake.

The senior officials survived but 12 people at the scene were killed and another died later in a hospital, Oaxaca’s attorney general’s office said in a statement. Another 15 people were injured.

Luis Cabrera, a civil protection official at the scene, said authorities were still investigating the cause of the crash.

The 7.2-magnitude quake knocked out electricity in Santiago Jamiltepec, about 45 kilometers from the tremor’s epicenter, leaving the town in darkness Friday night.

A journalist on board the flight told local TV that the helicopter had flown in over a clearing next to homes, raising a huge dust cloud before it crash landed.

At a home near the accident site, family members gathered to mourn their loved ones after officials returned their bodies. Many lashed out in anger at authorities.

“The governor was supposedly coming to help, but what was the help, the aid, we received? This was the aid,” said Eduardo Juarez, a relative of one victim.

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Written by Tempo Online

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