Five fatalities in small plane crash in Peruvian jungle

Five people died when a small police plane in Peru’s eastern Ucayali department crashed, local media reported on Friday.

The crash was caused by mechanical failures late Thursday after the plane took off from the airport in Iparia, in the province of Coronel Portillo, on route to Pucallpa, the capital of Ucayali, daily El Comercio said.

The passengers in the aircraft included regional health officials – including the regional director for Ucayali, Luis Alberto Basagoitia – and officers from the National Police.

The administrator of regional health in Ucayali, Carmen Salazar, said the passengers were traveling to see the advances in construction for a local health project.

Peru’s Health Minister, Alberto Tejada, said Friday that the victims of the crash were “heroes.”

“These acts of service and generosity really make us proud in the way they conduct themselves, these anonymous health heroes that are in the depths of Peru, where the health conditions are a real challenge,” Tejada said.

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