13 dead in Mexico plane crash near natural disaster epicentre


But five women, four men, and the three children were killed, the Oaxaca prosecutor´s office said.

Fifteen more people were injured.

A military helicopter surveying damage from an natural disaster in Mexico crashed while landing Friday night, killing 13 people on the aircraft or on the ground, Mexican officials said.

Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Oaxaca state governor Alejandro Murat were on their way to survey the scene of destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude quake when the accident occurred on Friday, the Interior Ministry tweeted.

Crowds of people gathered on Mexico City's central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as well as on streets in Oaxaca state's capital, nearer the quake's epicenter.

The powerful quake in the state of Oaxaca was strongly felt in the capital, but according to the authorities, it did not cause any casualties or serious damage. The quake itself caused no casualties.

After the tremor, thousands of people were seen fleeing buildings in Mexico City as the ground shook.

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Both Mexico's National Seismological Service and the US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 7.2.

Scars from a magnitude 8.2 quake September 7 that killed almost 100 people in Oaxaca and neighbouring Chiapas are still fresh, while in Mexico City, wounds from the September 19 quake remain visible. The natural disaster hit just before 6 p.m. local time on the country's southern coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

But 5.8 aftershock that struck Friday, about an hour after the 7.2-magnitude quake led some residents of Jamiltepec to decide to spend the night outdoors, a common practice after strong shakes in the balmy region.

Gladys Barreno Castro, who was at work on the 29th floor of a downtown office building in Mexico City, recognized quickly that the shaking was not as violent this time. It had a depth of 15 miles (24 kilometres). The natural phenomenon was also felt in Guatemala. In Mexico City alone two rotary wing aircraft were used to access damage.

"Unfortunately, multiple people on the ground lost their lives and others were injured", Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote on Twitter, sending his condolences to the families.

The helicopter was attempting to land on a vacant lot in the city of Jamiltepec, about 30 kilometres from the area of Pinotepa Nacional, the Mexican army said.