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MEXICO CITY (AP) – A military helicopter carrying officials assessing damage from a powerful earthquake crashed Friday in southern Mexico, killing 13 people and injuring 15, all of them on the ground.

mexican helicopter 13 Killed After Helicopter Crashes While Assessing Mexican Quake Damage

View of the remains of the military helicopter that fell on a van in Santiago Jamiltepec, Oaxaca state, Mexico, on February 17, 2018.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico on Friday, causing little damage but triggering a tragedy when a minister’s helicopter crash-landed on the way to the epicenter, Oaxaca, killing thirteen people, including three children, on the ground. Photo credit: PATRICIA CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images

The Oaxaca state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that five women, four men and three children were killed at the crash site and another person died later at the hospital.

Mexico’s Interior Department said that the helicopter was carrying Secretary Alfonso Navarrete and Oaxaca state Gov. Alejandro Murat, who were evaluating reports of damage from the earthquake, when their helicopter crashed.

The U.S. Geological Survey originally put the magnitude of Friday’s quake at 7.5 but later lowered it to 7.2.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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