Moment military helicopter transporting aid for victims of Hurricane Grace crashes in Mexico – but all 15 on board miraculously survive
- 15 passengers survived after a Navy helicopter crashed in Hidalgo, Mexico, on Wednesday morning
- The aircraft was scheduled to do a fly over and deliver aid to victims of Hurricane Grace in Veracruz when it crashed just minutes after taking off
- Veracruz Secretary of State Eric Cisneros was among the passengers who suffered non-life threatening injuries
- The Category 3 storm tore through Veracruz and affected at least 62 cities, leaving 330,000 people without power
- At least eight people, including children were killed, and three other residents remain missing
Cell phone footage has captured the moment a military helicopter that was transporting aid for victims of Hurricane Grace crashed moments after taking off in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz.
But, miraculously, 15 people traveling onboard escaped with just minor injuries.
The aircraft was also set to perform a fly over of the disaster area, and was carrying Veracruz State Secretary Eric Cisneros.
The helicopter departed from Agua Blanca, a municipality in the central state of Hidalgo, on Wednesday morning and was hovering over a grass field.
But video footage shows the helicopter begin to spin around after suffering an apparent malfunction.
The aircraft nearly collides with a utility pole, but the pilot somehow steered it away.
The helicopter then plummeted to the ground and nearly took out a bus, clipping its rear section before it landed on its belly.
A group of bystanders immediately rushed to the site of the crash to help the passengers out.
Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García announced on his Twitter account that no casualties were reported.
A Navy helicopter that was scheduled to do a fly over and transport aid to victims of Hurricane Grace crashed in Hidalgo, Mexico, on Wednesday
Mexico’s National Guard and agents from the Hidalgo state police survey the area where a Navy helicopter crashed Wednesday minutes after it had taken off
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 an area hospital where they were treated and listed in stable condition.
‘I appreciate the show of solidarity after the mishap of the Navy helicopter which was conducting a reconnaissance overflight in the areas affected 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 lauded the pilot’s expertise as the reason why none of the passengers were killed.
‘Many things go through your head in a few seconds, but I honestly thought that we were not going to have the chance to survive, these are very difficult moments,’ Cisneros said. ‘However, the pilot of the aircraft, that extraordinary decision he made, so much so that we can still be talking.’
Flight missions over Veracruz were suspended by Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was also set to inspect the region, following recommendations from the Secretary of Defense.
Eric Cisneros, the Veracruz State Secretary, was among the 15 passengers who survived Wednesday’s helicopter crash
A man remove parts of a damaged construction caused by the landfall of Hurricane Grace in Veracruz town of Tecolutla on Saturday
García said that helicopter had been scheduled to survey the damage caused by the Category 3 storm in the Huasteca low mountain region.
The hurricane killed at least nine people, including children, and three others were missing due to mudslides and flooding, the governor revealed Saturday.
García said at least 62 cities in Veracruz reported damages that left 330,000 people without electricity.
Hurricane Grace then weakened to tropical storm as it passed through the mountainous areas in central Mexico east of Mexico City, the US. National Hurricane Center reported.
A bystander records the moment a Navy helicopter took off in Hidalgo, Mexico to do a fly over of Veracruz moments before it suddenly crashed Wednesday
A paramedic carries a child after a landslide crushed a house due to the passage of Hurricane Grace through Xalapa, Veracruz on Saturday