Disasters & Accidents

Four killed in Colombian military helicopter crash

Bogotá, Mar 19 (EFE).- Four soldiers were killed on Sunday when a Colombian army helicopter crashed in a neighborhood of the city of Quibdó, capital of western Chocó department.

President Gustavo Petro reported that “an Army helicopter crashed in Quibdó while carrying out supply tasks,” in a message on his Twitter account.

He later added that “it is with sadness that I am sorry to report that there were no survivors,” and named the deceased as Héctor Jerez, Julieth García, Johan Orozco and Rubén Leguizamón, all of them members of the army.

Titán Joint Task Force Commander Hector Alfonso Candelario told reporters that the accident occurred during a supply operation to bring food to the soldiers on missions in Alto and Medio Baudó.

The aircraft was “completely incinerated,” Candelario said from the accident area, where two of the four bodies had been found.

The search was underway for the other two who, according to witnesses, appeared to have jumped out of the helicopter, the commander said.

In an unverified, widely distributed video shared on social media networks, the spinning helicopter plunges to the ground in a jungle area of La Playita neighborhood.

According to information provided by the army, the military’s first female UH1N helicopter pilot, Lt Julieth García, was onboard.

“I have given the order to the authorities to move immediately to the area to deal with the emergency and investigate the causes of what happened,” said the president.

Chocó Governor Farlin Perea Rentería sent a message of solidarity to the family and friends of the soldiers “who were carrying out supply operations for the Baudó Joint Air Force in Chocó.”

In November, a small plane belonging to the San Germán tourist company crashed in a residential neighborhood in the Colombian city of Medellín, causing the death of its eight occupants as well as damage to at least seven homes. EFE


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