Caracas: A Venezuelan military helicopter crashed into a navy research boat today and plunged into the sea, killing two people and injuring five, an official said.
The co-pilot and another crew member on the helicopter
were killed, while the pilot and four crew aboard the boat
were injured, Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami told state
The military helicopter crashed into the bow of a navy
oceanographic research vessel that was in front of Playa
Valdez port off Margarita Island, said Rafael Lugo, who leads a civilian marine rescue organisation.
The helicopter had been involved in a rescue
operation, aiding people who had been found adrift at sea on
two motorboats, El Aissami said. He said the helicopter had
ferried doctors to a frigate involved in the operation and had
taken off from the frigate in the morning before colliding
with the other ship near shore.
It was unclear what might have caused the collision.
Venezuela`s military has suffered several other recent
Last month, a National Guard helicopter crashed during
a counter-drug mission near the Colombian border, killing all
10 soldiers on board. In May 2009, a military helicopter
patrolling near the Colombian border crashed, killing 16
soldiers and a civilian. In June 2008, an army helicopter
crashed while landing at a Caracas military base, injuring two
crew members but leaving passengers unhurt.