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Chopper crash in Panama leaves 1 dead

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Panama City, Feb 6 (EFE).- One person was killed and seven others injured Thursday when a military helicopter crashed in the jungles of Darien during a counter-narcotics operation, Panamanian authorities said.

Among the injured was Commissioner Belsio Gonzalez, director of the National Aero-Naval Service, or SENAN, a source in that service told Efe.

A ninth person who was aboard the chopper escaped unhurt, the source said.

The accident took place at around 3:00 a.m. in the Mamsuggun area of Panama's Caribbean coast, near the border with Colombia, SENAN said in a statement.

"The helicopter crashed during the development of a drug-interdiction operation," the statement said, offering no information on the cause of the accident.

Six SENAN personnel were aboard the aircraft, along with a pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer.

The injured were taken to hospitals in Panama City, public television said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/140206/chopper-crash-panama-leaves-1-dead-0