Seventeen Colombian Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Crash

BOGOTA (Reuters) -

Seventeen Colombian soldiers died when their Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed in a central mountainous area of the Andean country, the army said on Monday.

The accident in the Caldas province, some 112 miles from the Bogota capital, occurred on Sunday when the helicopter was traveling from the jungle province of Choco to the Tolemaida military base, the army said.

“The first hypothesis suggests the accident could be related to bad weather in the area,” it said in a statement.

Last August, 16 police officers died after a mechanical failure caused their U.S.-made UH-60 Black Hawk to crash during an anti-drug operation in Colombia’s northeast.