15:38 GMT +321 June 2018
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    Ambulance in Mexico. File photo

    Helicopter With Int. Minister, Governor Crashes Into Van in Mexico, Kills 13

    © AFP 2018 / YURI CORTEZ
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    The accident occurred during an inspection flight of earthquake-affected areas, as earlier in the day the country was hit by a 7.2-magnitude quake, sending thousands of people in the nation's capital running into the streets and cutting power to half a million properties.

    A helicopter carrying Mexico's Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat crashed on Friday, killing 13 people, according to Prosecutor's office.

    Initially, the Mexican Interior Ministry said via Twitter that two people were killed in the crash, noting that the senior officials survived. 

    READ MORE: WATCH: Powerful Jolt in Mexico Sparks Panic Forcing Thousands to Stay Outdoors

    The military helicopter crashed while attempting to land near the epicenter of the earthquake, which happened earlier in the day. Both the cabinet minister and the regional governor were not harmed, whereas other people on board sustained injuries.

    However, some media report, citing words of the locals, that 10 people died as a result of the crash.

    Social media photos show the helicopter after it crashed into a van on the ground. According to preliminary information, the vehicle fell on a car after losing control at an altitude of about 30 meters (98 feet) before landing, the Jornada news portal reported.

    The helicopter crashed during an inspection of areas affected by the earthquake, which struck southwestern Mexico on Friday. Aftershocks as strong as 5.9 in magnitude continued to rattle the country late into the night. As of 10:30 p.m. local time, the National Seismological Service registered 225 tremors. No casualties were reported in the wake of the quake.

    The country is still reeling from September's deadly 7.1-magnitude quake in central Mexico, which killed and injured hundreds of people and cost the government over $2 billion in repairs.

    READ MORE: Aftermath of Destructive Mexico Earthquake Captured on Drone Footage

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    Tags:
    Earthquake, governor, helicopter crash, minister, death toll, Mexico
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