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Black Hawk downed in Guerrero rescue operation

September 21, 2013

Five federal police officers were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in a mountainous region of Guerrero on Thursday, the government confirmed on Saturday.

Normally used in combat operations in Mexico’s war on drug trafficking, the police helicopter flown by Captain Enrique Briseño Martinez, 57, had been deployed in rescue operations, following the severe storms that caused major damage across Mexico and especially in the southern state of Guerrero.

The U.S.-supplied Black Hawk went missing on Thursday and the wreckage was found at 8.05 a.m. Saturday, reportedly around five miles from La Pintada, where it had been carrying aid to the scores of people who had been trapped there by a massive landslide. None of the crew members survived the crash.

“It took off on Thursday, September 19 from the ‘Icacos’ Naval Base in the port of Acapulco, to carry supplies to the community of La Pintada in Atoyac de Alvarez,” Mexico’s Interior Ministry reported. The cause of crash has yet to be determined but the helicopter had been flying in cloudy conditions and heavy rain caused by the tropical storm Manuel.

“My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the helicopter that was downed in Guerrero,” President Enrique Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter. “Mexico recognizes the value and service of the helicopter crew who worked in rescue operations. Rest in peace.”

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