In a horrific accident, fifteen police officers were killed on duty when a helicopter carrying them crashed in a densely forested area of the South American country of Colombia. According to the New York Times, the helicopter crash occurred when they were on a mission to the densely jungled area near the country’s Gulf of Uraba. ABC News reports that the police officers were on their way to locate Dairo Otoniel Usuga, the leader of Colombia’s most dreaded and violent smuggling gang. There were 17 police officers on board the helicopter — including the pilot, Yahoo News confirmed.
In a statement released by the police, two police officers reportedly escaped alive from the crash but were critically injured. They are being currently treated for their injuries. A team of investigators have been rushed to the area following the crash and will try to ascertain the cause of the deadly crash. Initial impressions are that the chopper crashed purely because of a mechanical fault. The names and identities of the officers killed in the crash have not been made public yet. A police handout photo released by Colombia police officials show a plume of smoke rising from a thickly forested area near Carepa, Antioquia, department.
Otoniel Usuga, the leader of the smuggling ring, carries a $5 million reward on his capture and is on the watchlist of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as well.
Meanwhile, it is also reported that the area where the helicopter crashed is among the most volatile areas in Colombia where the smuggling gangs are known to clash with leftist rebels. The helicopter crash in Colombia has happened just a week after 11 air force personnel were killed in a plane crash in the Caribbean.
More details regarding this helicopter crash would be made available in the hours to come.
[Image Via Yahoo News]