Helicopter crash in Panama kills Chilean police chief and ten others
Saturday, May 31, 2008
A helicopter named SAN-100 crashed Thursday at 14:00 local time (09:00 UTC) on a roof in Banana Price, Calidonia, Panama City, Panama. The crash was a block from by Q street and Central Avenue. The crash also started a small fire. Of the 12 people aboard, half of whom were Chilean federal police officers and the other half Panamanian police officers, only Hernaldo Carrasco, the co-pilot, survived.
It is feared that civilians on the ground may have died, but as of yet there is no official death toll of non-passengers. Jose Bernales, the commander of IV region, and his wife also died in the crash.
The SAN-100 has been operated for 35 years and belongs to Panama. "It was a flying relic," said Omar Torrijos Pauzner, the brother of Panama's president. According to local TV channel Telemetro, the helicopter was used in Vietnam War, and the United States gave it to Panama after the war. Telemetro also reported the chopper had a broken part that was due to be replaced on June 4.
Martin Torrijos, Panama's President, communicated his sympathies to Chile and paid particular tribute to Bernales for his support of the Panamanian police force.
- Associated Press. "Chilean police chief among 11 killed in Panama copter crash" — , May 30, 2008
- "Panama honors Chilean policemen killed in helicopter crash" — , May 30, 2008
- "Panama helicopter crash kills at least 11 people" — , May 30, 2008
- "Tragedia en Calidonia" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- Rocío I. Martins and José Edwin Sánchez. "¡Ay Dios!" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- "Helicóptero caído era viejo" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- Leadimiro González C y Jilma Aguilar. "Venía volando bajito" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- Gloria Leiva Gaitán. "Un helicóptero con muchas piezas por comprar" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- Jean Marcel Chery. "Torrijos Pauzner: "Era una reliquia volante"" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- "Muerte del General Director Bernales en tragedia aérea conmueve al país" — , May 30, 2008 ()
- "Carabineros lloran a su gran jefe, líder y amigo" — , May 30, 2008 ()