A helicopter carrying Brazilian politicians struck a power transmission line, lost power and pitched nose down in an uncontrolled dive. The damaged aircraft landed in a marshy area near a soccer field in the city of Engenheiro Caldas, probably saving lives.
All four people aboard — the pilot, two politicians and an aide — survived the airborne collision and subsequent drop to the ground. A downed power line sparked a fire in the brush near the crash site.
A Portal R7 reporter posted a video to Twitter showing the helicopter strike the power line, creating a spark, and placing the small aircraft with its nose pointed downward.
Minas Gerais federal deputy Hercílio Diniz, who is running for reelection, walked out of the wreckage with blood stains on his face and clothing.
Gov. Valadares deputy mayor David Barraso, campaign press secretary Luciano Viana and the pilot Fabiano Rufino were all injured, according to a Daily Mail report.
All four were taken by ambulance for treatment at Municipal Hospital in Governador Valadares.
Barraso was in intensive care with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, according to a statement released by deputy Diniz’s office.
Rufino was also treated for a collapsed lung, according to the Daily Mail report that added he was in stable condition.
Diniz remained at the hospital as a precaution, even though tests cleared him of serious injury.
Viana suffered minor injuries and was expected to be discharged, the report noted.
Diniz’s Instagram account indicated he breakfasted with local business leaders Wednesday morning in Governador Valadares. He left for two scheduled campaign appearances, one in Engenheiro Caldas and another in Açucena, before returning to Governador Valadares.
The helicopter is owned by Rotorfly Taxi Aereo, a local air taxi company, according to Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency.
The company claimed its helicopter’s required maintenance was performed according to schedule, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported.
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