Honduran presidential candidate unhurt after helicopter crash

Reuters
Juan Orlando Hernandez of the National Party (Partido Nacional) gives a speech to supporters during a political rally outside the Congress building in Tegucigalpa
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Juan Orlando Hernandez of the National Party (Partido Nacional) gives a speech to supporters during a …

By Gustavo Palencia

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras' ruling party presidential candidate, Juan Hernandez, escaped unhurt after the helicopter in which he was traveling crashed on Saturday, a spokesman for his National Party said.

Hernandez was traveling with his wife and three members of his campaign team to a rally in the city of Juticalpa, 80 miles east of the capital, Tegucigalpa, when the helicopter crashed from a low altitude.

"Thanks to God that we are OK," the candidate said on Twitter.

"The helicopter started to have mechanical problems. They heard some noises and it started to drop, and as it fell, the tail split off," said the spokesman, adding nobody was injured in the accident.

Authorities have not commented on possible causes of the crash.

Hernandez, the 45-year-old head of Honduras' Congress, is in a tight race with leftist candidate Xiomara Castro, the wife of ousted former President Manuel Zelaya. The election is November 24.

Hernandez resumed his journey in another helicopter after the accident.

(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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