Mexican Navy helicopter with 5 aboard crashes near fires

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed Friday in a mountainous area while carrying water to help fight forest fires.

The Navy said rescuers were searching for the crew of the Russian-made MI-17 transport helicopter and it was not clear if any had survived.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote in a Tweet that “we hope with all our hearts that these five public servants are alive.”

The north-central state of Queretaro has been using helicopters to help fight a series of forest fires in the pine-covered mountains known as the Sierra Gorda. The chopper was carrying a 660 gallon (2,500 liter) helicopter bucket filled with water when it went down.

The crash occurred in the township of Jalpan de la Sierra, located on a high mountain range that drops abruptly onto Mexico’s Gulf coast plain.

Mexico has suffered hundreds of brush, pasture and forest fires in recent weeks amid very hot, dry conditions.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up