Eight dead in Ecuador military helicopter crash

Eight dead in Ecuador military helicopter crash
# 27 April 2024 09:31 (UTC +04:00)

Eight people who were aboard a military helicopter that crashed in Ecuador's Amazon region have been found dead, the Ecuadorian army says, APA reports citing The Canberra Times.

Among the victims on Friday were five soldiers and three officials of the Secretariat of Risk Management (SGR), who were carrying humanitarian aid to parts of Pastaza province in Ecuador's Amazon, affected by flooding due to rising water levels in rivers.

The victims were identified as Major Andres Sierra, the aircraft's pilot, Lieutenant Jaime Cordones, who was co-pilot, Sergeant Leonardo Gutierrez, the flight engineer, and corporals Cristian Morales and Edgar Montesdeoca, who were mechanics.

In addition to the crew, Katya Aragen, Diego Ima and Erik Reyes were also travelling on the helicopter to carry out SGR activities.

The Ecuadorian army said that the bodies will be recovered on Saturday due to the weather conditions.

The Mi-171E helicopter crashed at 9.36am on Friday in Pastaza's Tiwino sector and its remains could not be located until almost five hours later.

A search operation, involving two light helicopters, was launched to locate the crashed chopper.

The military has ordered an investigation.

"We, the soldiers, stand in solidarity with the families of our five brave soldiers who served their homeland with total dedication and professionalism, despite the risk involved in the military profession, and of three exemplary Ecuadorian citizens," said the army, which pledged to provide the necessary assistance.

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