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07:58, 19 March 2018 Monday
12:55, 19 February 2018 Monday

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Relief turns to horror in Mexico helicopter crash
Relief turns to horror in Mexico helicopter crash

No one died. People's houses were still standing.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico on Friday evening hit right near their hometown, the southern city of Santiago Jamiltepec, but the damage was minor.

In fact, the entire country was breathing a sigh of relief. Unlike previous earthquakes that killed hundreds or thousands of people in Mexico, this one claimed no lives and left minimal destruction.

Still, there is always the fear of aftershocks.

So a group of residents of Santiago Jamiltepec, a town of 20,000 people in the mountains of Oaxaca state, set up camp in an open field for the night, fearing another quake could bring down their houses.

That is where they were when the Mexican interior minister and Oaxaca governor arrived in a military helicopter to survey the disaster zone.

The authorities are still investigating exactly what went wrong. But somehow, the pilot lost control of the UH-60 Black Hawk, keeled over and crashed about 40 meters (130 feet) to the ground.

Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Governor Alejandro Murat were unharmed.

But the helicopter plunged straight into the crowd on the ground, its rotor blades hacking people to bits.

Fourteen people were killed, including a six-month-old baby and a 10-year-old girl. Another 15 were injured, some losing limbs.

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