Sunday, May 19, 2024

Helicopter crash in southern Mexico City kills 3

UPDATE:

On Monday night, after the publication of this story, the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office published a statement indicating the two passengers (one man, one woman) aboard the helicopter were foreigners, however their identity has not been confirmed as of Tuesday morning. Reforma newspaper reported late Monday that sources close to the investigation say the victims were Korean.

Three people were killed on Sunday afternoon when a helicopter operated by a tour company crashed in southern Mexico City.

The cause of the accident that claimed the lives of the pilot and two passengers appeared to be engine failure, according to the federal Infrastructure, Communications and Transport Ministry (SICT).

The helicopter crashed into a public transport maintenance facility. (Daniel Augusto/Cuartoscuro)

The Bell 206B helicopter operated by the company Let’s Fly came down in the borough of Coyoacán and crashed into a public transport maintenance facility. The aircraft burst into flames upon impact.

Police, firefighters and paramedics all responded to the crash, which occurred at a location near University City, the main campus of the National Autonomous University, or UNAM.

Some local residents also rushed to the scene, but nothing could be done to save the lives of the three people on board the helicopter.

Mexico City Security Minister Pablo Vázquez Camacho said on the X social media platform Sunday evening that the general population was not at risk from the accident and that there was no danger to nearby homes.

The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office said on X that it had begun an investigation and that its personnel were at the scene of the crash.

On Monday morning, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent his condolences to the families of the three victims, and paid tribute to the pilot “because everything indicates that he maneuvered [the helicopter] so as to not fall where there were homes with families.”

The pilot was identified as Armando Cervantes. SICT said on X he had a commercial helicopter pilot’s license that was valid until January 2025.

Francisco Ahumada, a business owner in Coyoacán, told the newspaper El Universal that he saw the helicopter nose-dive before it crashed. He said the aircraft “exploded” into flames when it hit the ground.

Benjamín Gallardo said that he and other stall holders at a tianguis, or street market, thought the helicopter was going to come down on top of them.

“But it ended up in the repair yard, we heard a horrible explosion,” he said.

The helicopter took off from the Mexico City airport and intended to land there, according to El Universal.

Let’s Fly says on its website that it offers “the opportunity to live a unique and different adventure in Mexico City.”

“With us you can fly by helicopter over the most emblematic and spectacular places in the capital, enjoying a panoramic and exceptional view that will leave you breathless,” the company says.

With reports from Milenio, Infobae and El Universal 

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