Puebla, Mexico–Officials in Mexico are now saying that public rumors of explosives being found at the crash site that killed the newly elected Governor of Puebla Martha Erika Alonso and Senator Rafael Moreno Valle are false. The official, who spoke with Texas Take News via phone on Wednesday said that the cause of the crash is still under investigation and that they have invited officials from the United States to assist in the investigation.
The helicopter that the pair were flying in crashed shortly after take off due to what officials are calling an “unspecified failure” on Christmas Eve. The privately-owned Agusta helicopter was bound for Mexico City when air traffic controllers lost contact with it around 10 minutes after take-off, Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said.
The accident happened on Monday around 2:50 local time (20:50 GMT) in the area of Santa María Coronango, near the state capital of Puebla, Mexico’s second-largest city.
Governor Alonso was a member of the center-right PAN party and was sworn in on December 14, 2018 as Puebla’s first female governor. Her win came on the heels of a hotly contested race in which she narrowly beat the governmental favorite, Manuel Barbosa. President López Obrador’s had openly favored Barbosa over the Alonso in the July election.
Almost immediately following the crash, rumors began to speculate that the cause of the crash might have been intentional and that somebody from within the President’s own organization might have played part in the crash, though officials deny that to be the case.
The accident comes after a number of high-profile deaths in helicopter crashes over the years in Mexico, including Minister Francisco Blake Mora in 2011. Earlier this year, 13 people died when a government minister’s helicopter crashed into a crowd, although the minister himself survived the crash.
The government of Puebla is preparing the funeral, which is expected to be held later this week in Puebla at the Plaza de la Victoria of Los Fuertes Park.
Puebla’s parliament will now have to appoint an interim governor until new elections are held.