Six dead as Mexican Navy MI-17 helicopter crashes in Queretaro

Mexico MI-17 helicopter
Service members practice on/off drills on a MI-17 HIP helicopter, flown by Mexican pilots during Partnership of the Americas in Chile.

A Mexican military helicopter engaged in firefighting operations crashed in central Mexico on Friday, killing five members of the Navy crew and an inspector with the national forestry commission, the Navy said on Saturday.

The MI-17 helicopter came down about 55 miles (89 km) north of the town of Jalpan de Sierra in the central state of Queretaro, where it had been working to help extinguish a forest fire, the Navy said.

Reasons for the crash were not immediately clear.

A reconnaissance team found debris from the helicopter early in the morning, after operations had to be suspended during the night due to adverse weather conditions, a Navy statement said.

Officials, including President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, held a minute’s silence for the crew on Friday after news of the crash began to circulate.

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