Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuela helicopter crash survivors rescued after six days

Helicopter crew in Venezuela ()6 December 2014) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Helicopters are often used in Venezuela to patrol remote Amazon areas (file picture)

Reports from Venezuela say search teams have found survivors in a military helicopter six days after it crashed in the country's Amazon region.

Thirteen people, including civilians, were on board the Mi-17V-5 helicopter, which had disappeared last Thursday.

Venezuela's El Nacional paper says that the military crew members were alive and will be transferred to the capital of Amazonas state, Puerto Ayacucho.

It is not clear whether the civilian passengers have survived the accident.

The governor of Amazonas state, Liborio Guarulla, tweeted that the helicopter was discovered by members of the Yecuana indigenous tribe.

The helicopter was discovered on the slopes of the Cerro Duida, a table-top mountain in the south of Venezuela, he added.

Mr Guarulla, a fierce opponent of President Nicolas Maduro, had criticised the lack of government support.

Only one military helicopter was taking part in the search, he said.

President Nicolas Maduro and his Defence Minister, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, had earlier said they had boosted resources for the operation.

"We are carrying on with the search. Several groups of soldiers and indigenous people have gone deep inside the Amazon jungle," said Mr Maduro on Wednesday.

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