MEXICO CITY-Reuters: A Mexican governor and her senator husband were killed in a helicopter crash near the city of Puebla in central Mexico, the government said, just days after she had taken office following a bitterly contested election.
Martha Erika Alonso, a senior opposition figure and governor of the state of Puebla, died with Rafael Moreno, a senator and former Puebla governor, when their Agusta helicopter came down on Monday afternoon shortly after take-off, the government said. Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the privately owned helicopter was bound for Mexico City and crashed after suffering an unspecified failure in the town of Santa Maria Coronango, about three nautical miles from Puebla airport. “At this point, there’s no evidence that could lead us to conclude that the cause was not related to how the (helicopter) was functioning,” Durazo told a news conference.
Alongside the politicians were Captain Roberto Cope and first officer Marco Antonio Tavera, and it is presumed there was a fifth passenger, Durazo said, without giving more details. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Twitter that his government would investigate the accident. Durazo said that the authorities had been in touch with the helicopter and engine manufacturers, who will be at the scene on Tuesday. “We will act with total transparency,” he said. Television images showed the remains of an aircraft in flames, a plume of smoke and people inspecting the scene. Alonso, from the center-right National Action Party (PAN), took office this month after winning a bad-tempered contest in July. Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) accused her of stealing the election.