Mexican state security chief is among the five dead in helicopter crash
Mexican officials said they have identified the bodies of the five victims of a helicopter crash Saturday in the western Sonora state of Mexico, where authorities said they believed the plane had crashed after attempting to take off from the state of Baja California.
The plane had been returning to the border city of Mexicali after delivering a team of about 20 members of the Mexican military to support the federal police force in Baja California.
The official with knowledge of the incident said the helicopter had been headed back to the capital from the northern state of Tijuana on the Pacific coast when it crashed just before dawn Saturday morning, killing four people and a pilot.
The remaining pilot and three passengers were badly wounded in the crash and were in critical condition, the official said.
The state of Sonora, which is a hotbed of drug trafficking, has been described as the biggest in the world for drug smuggling.
The helicopter, which included a doctor and a flight mechanic, was carrying a total of 12 people and was headed to the border town of Mexicali, from where it was to continue northbound, authorities said.
Federal police said the president of the Mexican Senate, Carlos Cafferata, and state government officials had been among the victims.
A man who answered the phone told The Associated Press Saturday that Cafferata was on his way to the hospital.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador cancelled his trip to the United States, which begins Tuesday in Washington.
Lopez Obrador will return to Mexico Saturday, about a week after the incident, when he will address the nation.
The Federal Communications Commission said it had temporarily suspended all commercial satellite and cable services in Baja California.
It was unclear whether the crash affected satellite services in Mexico, where dozens of smallsat satellites orbit atop the country’s geostationary orbit.
“This is a tragedy for all of Mexico and the United States,” President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday, saying he would call Mexican President Lopez Obrador “this evening