Mexico City helicopter crash injures Argentine soccer star

A helicopter crashed in a stylish corner of Mexico's capital Saturday, injuring Argentine soccer star Jorge Valdano and seven others, none gravely.

The private helicopter went down in the Lomas de Chapultepec district, damaging a parked car and causing all eight aboard to be hospitalized, according to a spokesman for Mexico City's Public Safety Department who said he was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Valdano, 50, played with Diego Maradona on the Argentine soccer team that won the World Cup here in 1986 and was later coach of Spain's Real Madrid team. Valdano also works as a soccer commentator in Mexico.

Mexico City's TV Azteca said on its Web site that it had met with Valdano Friday about doing some work for the network, but it did not provide further details.

Doctors at the hospital said none the injuries was life-threatening.

The Public Safety spokesman identified the pilot as Oscar Arredondo, but said he did not know his age or hometown. He also could not confirm radio reports that all those onboard were from Argentina.

The privately owned helicopter was ferrying the passengers from Mexico City to the airport in Toluca 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of the capital. The cause of the crash was still being investigated, but authorities said the company which was not identified was blaming it on a mechanical failure.

Officials said the pilot prevented a more dangerous crash by steering the aircraft into the trees to keep from hitting the ground at full speed.

The helicopter's blades sliced off tree branches before becoming stuck in larger trunks nearer to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the crash scene to control fuel pouring from the aircraft, which broke into pieces before settling on its left side, reports AP.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team