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Latino Daily News

Sunday October 13, 2013

Argentine Politician Killed, Governor Seriously Injured in Helicopter Crash

An Argentine lawmaker was killed and four others were injured, including the governor of the western province of San Juan, Jose Luis Gioja, when the helicopter in which they were traveling crashed shortly after take-off.

Margarita Ferra de Bartol, 76, a legislator and member of the governing Front for Victory party who was seeking to retain her seat in elections scheduled for Oct. 27, died of her injuries, San Juan’s deputy governor, Jose Uñac, said.

Gioja, 64, underwent emergency surgery Friday to control an abdominal hemorrhage and is listed in serious condition.

“His condition is serious. He suffered multiple trauma. It’s affecting his lungs because he has a bilateral pulmonary contusion,” the deputy director of the intensive care unit at San Juan’s Rawson Hospital, Marta Torrado, told the media after the operation.

The governor’s personal secretary, Hector Perez, also was listed in serious condition, while lawmaker Daniel Tomas and the helicopter’s pilot sustained less severe injuries.

Shortly after lift-off in the western town of San Agustin, a strong gust of wind caused the helicopter to collide with some power lines and then plunge to the ground, according to witnesses interviewed by local media.

The accident occurred just before 4:00 p.m. Friday when Gioja and the two ruling-party candidates were returning to San Juan, the provincial capital, after a campaign event.

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