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Presidential helicopter crashes in Ecuador, three dead

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, speaks during a interview with The Associated Press in Portoviejo, Ecuador, Sunday, June 30, 2013.(AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

QUITO: A military helicopter assigned to the presidency crashed in southern Ecuador, killing three people, President Rafael Correa has announced.

The Indian-made Dhruv helicopter was on a flight between Guayaquil and Quito when it crashed in the region of Chimborazo, a military spokesman said.

Correa disclosed the crash during an election rally in Quito, asking for a moment of silence for the victims.

He emphasized that at no point was he supposed to be on the flight.

"Let's hope this doesn't lead to speculation," he said. "It has to be investigated. I was not traveling on the helicopter, I didn't have the least plans to."

Three crew members were killed, including a presidential pilot. The helicopter's pilot survived.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

 

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