MEXICO CITY – One man was killed and two others injured Wednesday when a military helicopter crashed in the southern state of Guerrero, Mexico’s defense department said, attributing the accident to an unspecified “mechanical failure.”
The 10 air force personnel aboard the chopper were carrying out a mission related to “the permanent campaign against drug trafficking” when their aircraft went down near the town of Vallecitos de Zaragoza, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Ciudad Altamirano, the department said in a statement.
Killed in the crash was Sgt. Dan Neftali Botello Ramos, a flight mechanic, while two other airmen remain in grave condition at a nearby hospital, the statement said.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the military to provide all necessary assistance to Botello’s family, the defense department noted.
Calderon has deployed some 50,000 military personnel throughout Mexico to battle the country’s powerful and well-armed drug cartels. Drug-related violence has claimed nearly 16,000 lives in the country since the incumbent president’s term began in December 2006. EFE