Nicaragua air force chiefs killed in helicopter crash

June 21, 2013

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Senior members of Nicaragua’s Air Force were killed on Thursday when a helicopter crashed near Lake Managua, officials said.

Ten people died in the crash, including Air Force Chief of Staff Col. Manuel López, head of Air Force counterintelligence, Col. Chester Vargas, and air defense chief Lt. Col. Aldo Herrera, the Nicaraguan Army said in a statement.

The MI-17 helicopter went down after visiting the El Papalonal firing range in La Paz Centro, 52 kilometers northwest of Managua, the statement said.

The senior officers killed were mostly former Sandinista guerrillas who helped found Nicaragua’s modern military after the leftist revolutionaries triumphed in 1979 against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.

The officers were returning to the capital when, soon after departing, the helicopter pilot made an emergency call to warn of unspecified flight difficulties, said Army spokesman Col. Orlando Palacios.

Early reports citing witnesses said that the helicopter caught fire and exploded during flight, plunging to earth from a height of some 1,500 meters.

Lower-ranking airmen also died in the crash, the Army statement said.

This story is developing. Follow ticotimes.net for updates.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Ballet Festival 2019 part of Costa Rica’s flourishing dance scene
Arts & Culture
23 views
Arts & Culture
23 views

Ballet Festival 2019 part of Costa Rica’s flourishing dance scene

Jacob Spetzler - May 24, 2019

A convergence of international ballet classes, performances and meetings manifests this week in the form of the Costa Rican Festival…

Tico wins gold medal at Para Athletics Grand Prix
Costa Rica
13 views
Costa Rica
13 views

Tico wins gold medal at Para Athletics Grand Prix

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 24, 2019

When Sherman Güity lost part of his left leg after a traffic accident in 2017, he pledged to return to…

USNS Comfort mission to stop in Costa Rica this year
Costa Rica
26 views
Costa Rica
26 views

USNS Comfort mission to stop in Costa Rica this year

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 24, 2019

Costa Rica will receive the USNS Comfort, a United States Navy hospital ship, as part of the vessel's five-month medical…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!