Six killed in Panama chopper crashMay 30th, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by admin
Panama City, May 30 (IANS) At least six people have been killed and scores injured when an air force helicopter crashed onto a shopping mall in the Panama capital, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Friday. The helicopter, which was travelling from the province of Colon to a hotel in Panama City with 12 people on board, including the members of a high-level Chilean delegation, crashed on two buildings Thursday.
Among the killed were the chief of Chile’s military police, Gen. Jose Alejandro Bernales, his three aides and two women travelling with the delegation, the government confirmed.
An unspecified number of injured people were taken to Santo Tomas Hospital in the capital, including the helicopter’s co-pilot, Juan Delgado.
Eyewitnesses said the aircraft exploded in a ball of fire and broke into several pieces.
More than 100 companies of fire fighters rushed to the scene and were joined by civil defence personnel and rescue dog squads.
Police cordoned off the site of the accident.
Panama’s President Martin Torrijos, who was on a state visit to El Salvador, cut short his tour to return.