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Mexico: 13 killed as helicopter crashes near earthquake epicentre

The helicopter was carrying officials surveying the aftermath of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of Mexico.

mexico-earthquake-oaxaca newspro
  The quake had a 7.2 magnitude

Thirteen people, including three children, have been killed after a helicopter crashed while surveying damage from a powerful earthquake in Mexico.

The aircraft was carrying officials including the Mexican interior minister Alfonso Navarrete and governor of the state of Oaxaca Alejandro Murat when it crashed on top of two vans in a field while trying to land.

They survived but 12 people at the scene were killed and another died later in a hospital, Oaxaca's attorney general's office said. Fifteen more people were injured.

The officials had been looking at damage from the quake, which hit the rural state and Mexico City on Friday evening.

Mr Navarrete told the Televisa network that the helicopter pilot had lost control of the aircraft some 22 miles southwest of the quake's epicentre.

The helicopter had been at a height of about 40m (130ft), he added.

According to a Televisa reporter who had been on board, the helicopter had dropped after generating a large cloud of dust on its landing field.

Mexico: 13 killed as helicopter crashes near earthquake epicentre
The quake knocked out power for a million people

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter: "Unfortunately, several people on the ground lost their lives and others were injured.

"My condolences to your relatives and my desire to promptly recover the injured."

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake has not caused any deaths but dozens of buildings have been damaged and power has been cut to about a million people.

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