Colombian army General Alfredo Bocanegra died in a helicopter crash close to Bucumaranga Friday morning, reports newspaper El Tiempo.
The Ranger helicopter carrying General Alfredo Bocanegro, reportedly one of the most prominent men in the army, crashed in Rio Negro, Santander, not far from its departure point in Bucaramanga.
General Bocanegro, commander of the 5th Brigade of the army, perished along with the pilot and two other uniformed officers, leaving a total of four dead.
According to locals, the helicopter exploded in the air after making noises that would indicate a mechanical failure.
The army commander, General Alejandro Navas, said that the helicopter crashed into “one of the mountain ridges in a region where there is bad weather,” although he added that more details were being sought.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera immediately ordered an investigation to determine whether the accident arose out of a human or mechanical failure, and to rule out the possibility of an attack, reports El Espectador.
A team of civil defense officials and military personnel, as well as relief workers, are already at the scene.