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Mexican military helicopter crashes, killing five crew

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MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – A Mexican military helicopter engaged in fire-fighting operations crashed in central Mexico on Friday, killing five members of the Navy crew, the Navy said on Saturday.

The MI-17 helicopter came down about 55 miles (89 km) north of the town of Jalpan de Sierra in the state of Queretaro, where it had been working to help extinguish a forest fire, the Navy said.

It was unclear whether an inspector for the national forestry commission or other crew members were aboard the aircraft.

Reasons for the crash were not immediately clear. A reconnaissance team found debris from the helicopter early in the morning, after operations had to be suspended during the night due to adverse weather conditions, a Navy statement said.

Officials, including President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, held a minute’s silence for the crew on Friday evening after news of the crash began to circulate.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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