Guatemala City, Feb 29 (IANS/EFE) Eight people were killed Tuesday when an army helicopter crashed in the jungles of northern Guatemala while on a humanitarian mission, the military said.
The chopper, a US-made UH1H, went down in a village near the municipality of San Luis Peten, an army spokesperson told reporters.
The UH1H took off from an airbase in Guatemala City bound for Northern Air Command headquarters in Santa Elena Peten, but changed course en route to aid the occupants of a civilian helicopter that crashed in Livingston, a town in the Caribbean province of Izabal, the spokesperson said.
Officials suspect the accident occurred as the pilot, Lt. Everardo Portillo, was in the process of diverting to Livingston.
The pilot and two other people aboard the civilian chopper were badly injured in the initial wreck, authorities said.