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Dust cloud "disorientated" Mexican helicopter crash pilot

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By Tokunbo Salako  with Reuters
Aftermath military helicopter crash in Mexico's Oaxaca state
Aftermath military helicopter crash in Mexico's Oaxaca state   -   Copyright  Reuters

Mexican authorities have begun an investigation into a fatal helicopter crash after Friday's devastating earthquake in the southern state of Oaxaca.

At least 13 people on the ground, including three children, were killed when it came down in a small town.

Mexico's interior minister was among the senior figures on board the military chopper which was on a damage surveillance mission when it crash landed at night on two vans in an open field.

Having survived the quake, the accident has left some relatives of the victims' angry with authorities.

"The entire town was without light, nothing. We were happy and we were going to sleep. But look at what they did. The governor was supposedly coming to help but what was the help, the aid we received? This was the aid?" said Eduardo Juarez Velazco.

A journalist on board the flight told local TV that the helicopter had flown in over a clearing next to homes, raising a huge dust cloud before it crash landed.

Authorities say the pilot was disorientated by the dust cloud but the crew do not appear to have acted recklessly.