Mexican state security chief is among the five dead in helicopter crash Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto has called the air accident “a tragedy.” The president, who has faced criticism in the past for failing to protect the nation from such accidents, said the pilot of the state-owned aircraft had not been on the plane’s flight plan at the time of the crash. A military helicopter has crashed in an open field, killing five people and including the president’s chief of staff. Credit:AP A state security official said the chopper had been en route to the state of Nayarit when it crashed into a field near the town of La Joya, in the southern state of Oaxaca, about 240 kilometres from the capital, Mexico City. President Enrique Peña Nieto and state Governor Alfonso Durazo, who has been named interim head of the country, visited the crash site on Tuesday, and the bodies will be flown to a hospital in Mexico City.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families.” Mr Durazo said on Tuesday. “The president asked for me to accompany him when he returned to the airport after the flight, to bring him in a private capacity to the scene of the accident. We both arrived at the scene and we saw the helicopter, the pilot was identified, he had not been on the flight plan. We decided not to board the helicopter to carry out a search and rescue operation.” While Mexico has no air transport system, the country has been a favourite target of terrorist attacks. A September 26, 2008, attack by gunmen killed 191 people when the deadliest incident in the country’s 15-year history occurred. A 2010 attack on a plane travelling from the city of Guadalajara to Cuernavaca left 16 people dead and 38 injured. Other incidents of attacks have included: In 1998, a group of gunmen fired at a passenger plane flying from San Salvador, Guatemala, to Mexico. A passenger