Venezuelan military helicopter crashes into boat

CARACAS, Venezuela The pilot and four crew members on the boat were injured, while the co-pilot and another man who was aboard the helicopter were missing, Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami told state television.

The military helicopter crashed into the bow of a navy oceanographic research vessel that was in front of Playa Valdez port off Margarita Island, said Rafael Lugo, who leads a civilian marine rescue organization.

There was no immediate comment from the military. Venezuela's military has suffered several other recent helicopter crashes.

Last month, a National Guard helicopter crashed during a counter-drug mission near the Colombian border, killing all 10 soldiers on board. In May 2009, a military helicopter patrolling near the Colombian border crashed, killing 16 soldiers and a civilian. In June 2008, an army helicopter crashed while landing at a Caracas military base, injuring two crew members but leaving passengers unhurt.

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