Helicopter carrying Bolivia President under investigation after emergency landing

Photo: David Mercado, Reuters

A helicopter transporting Bolivia’s President Evo Morales made an emergency landing due to a mechanical problem on Monday. The air force said it was investigating the possible cause of the mishap.

The air force noted that no one was hurt but the incident raised tensions in the country, where protesters are seen rallying against the president for two weeks after his disputed re-election.

The mechanical failure transpired as the aircraft was taking off from a village in the Andes where Morales had been inaugurating a new road, authorities said.

“Brothers, today, after opening the road in Colquiri, we had an incident with the helicopter that will be properly investigated,” Morales tweeted.

The Bolivian Air Force said in a statement that the EC-145 helicopter “had a mechanical fault in the tail rotor during take-off, which prompted an emergency landing.”

On the other hand, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, tweeted his support to Morales, “Deep solidarity and support for our Indian chief of the south, who has emerged unscathed from an air crash.” 

“The immortal spirit of our ancestors and liberators protect you. A hug, Brother President,” adding to the tweet.