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Colombian Air Force helicopter crashes, killing 13

From Nelson Quinones, CNN
May 1, 2012 -- Updated 1003 GMT (1803 HKT)
(file photo) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote a condolence message about the crash on Twitter.
(file photo) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote a condolence message about the crash on Twitter.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A helicopter crashes in northern Colombia, near the Caribbean coast
  • All 13 people on board, members of the air force and police, are killed
  • An investigation team is at the crash site to determine the causes

(CNN) -- A helicopter carrying members of the Colombian Air Force and police crashed in the north of the Latin American nation on Monday, killing all 13 people on board.

The crash took place at 4:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. ET) in the municipality of Sabanagrande, near Colombia's Caribbean coast, according to a statement from the Colombian Air Force.

Seven of the dead were from the air force and six were from the police.

"We regret the accident of the Air Force helicopter crash," President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia said in a message posted on his official twitter account. "Our condolences to the families of the patriotic heroes who died in this accident."

In an amateur video broadcast on the local Caracol TV, dozens of people were shown standing near the crash site, which was covered with smoke and flames.

The Colombian Air Force said that the Bell 212 helicopter was on a transportation mission from Barranquilla to Caucasia when it went down.

An inspection team was sent to the site to work on the investigation and determine what may have caused the crash.

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