Moment when military helicopter carrying aid for victims of Hurricane Grace crashes in Mexico – but all 15 on board miraculously survive
- 15 passengers survived Wednesday morning after a naval helicopter crashed in Hidalgo, Mexico
- The plane was scheduled to fly over and provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Grace in Veracruz when it crashed minutes after takeoff
- Veracruz Foreign Minister Eric Cisneros was among the passengers who suffered non-life-threatening injuries
- Category 3 storm swept through Veracruz, hitting at least 62 cities, leaving 330,000 people without power
- At least eight people, including children, were killed and three other residents are still missing
Mobile phones have captured the moment when a military helicopter carrying aid for the victims of Hurricane Grace crashed shortly after takeoff in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz.
But miraculously, 15 people traveling on board escaped with only minor injuries.
The plane was also scheduled to fly over the disaster area and was carrying Veracruz Secretary of State Eric Cisneros on board.
The helicopter took off from Agua Blanca, a municipality in the central state of Hidalgo, on Wednesday morning and hovered over a grassy field.
But video footage shows the helicopter starting to spin after an apparent malfunction.
The plane nearly collided with a utility pole, but the pilot somehow steered it away.
The helicopter then crashed to the ground, nearly knocking out a bus, cutting off the rear section before landing on its belly.
A group of bystanders immediately rushed to the scene of the accident to help the passengers.
Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García said on his Twitter account that there were no casualties.
A Navy helicopter slated to fly over and provide assistance to victims of Hurricane Grace crashed in Hidalgo, Mexico on Wednesday.
Mexico’s National Guard and Hidalgo State Police officers investigate the area where a naval helicopter crashed minutes after takeoff on Wednesday
A view of a crashed Mexican Navy helicopter in Agua Blanca, a municipality in the central state of Hidalgo
Cisneros and three other government officials were taken to a hospital in the region where they were treated and admitted in stable condition.
“I appreciate the show of solidarity after the accident of the Navy helicopter that was doing a reconnaissance flight in the areas hit by Hurricane Grace,” Cisneros tweeted. “Fortunately there were no human losses. We continue to help, even with minor injuries.’
In an interview with news channel Tele Diario, Cisneros praised the pilot’s expertise as the reason none of the passengers were killed.
“A lot of things go through your mind in a few seconds, but I really thought we wouldn’t get a chance to survive, these are very difficult moments,” Cisneros said. “But the pilot of the plane, that extraordinary decision he made, so much so that we can still talk.”
Flight missions over Veracruz were suspended by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who would also inspect the region, on the recommendation of the defense minister.
Eric Cisneros, Veracruz’s secretary of state, was one of 15 passengers who survived Wednesday’s helicopter crash
A man removes parts of a damaged structure caused by Hurricane Grace’s landfall in the Veracruz town of Tecolutla on Saturday.
García said a helicopter was scheduled to investigate damage caused by the Category 3 storm in the low mountains of Huasteca.
The hurricane killed at least nine people, including children, and three others were missing from mudslides and flooding, the governor said on Saturday.
García said at least 62 towns in Veracruz have reported damage that left 330,000 people without electricity.
Hurricane Grace then weakened to a tropical storm as it passed through mountainous areas in central Mexico east of Mexico City, US. That reports the National Hurricane Center.
A bystander records the moment a Navy helicopter took off in Hidalgo, Mexico to fly over Veracruz, just before it suddenly crashed on Wednesday
A paramedic carries a child after a landslide crushes a house due to Hurricane Grace’s passage through Xalapa, Veracruz on Saturday