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Mexico’s Puebla governor and her husband die in Christmas Eve helicopter crash

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The governor of the Mexican state of Puebla and her husband, a former governor and senator, died in a helicopter crash on Christmas eve, Mexican authorities have confirmed.

Governor Martha Erika Alonso and Senator Rafael Moreno died when their helicopter went down outside of Puebla on Monday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed reports of the tragedy.

“Terrible news,” said Senate leader Ricardo Monreal Avila. “We are in sadness and pain after this tragedy.”

There is no information yet what might have caused the crash, which took place near the town of Santa María Coronango.

Alonso had been in office for only 10 days. She won the election in July to become the first female governor in the history of Puebla, and was sworn in on December 14.

Moreno had served as governor between 2011 and January 2017, and was a member of the Mexican Senate. Both he and Alonso were members of the conservative National Action Party (Partido Accion Nacional, PAN). Party leader Marko Cortes expressed condolences over the deaths of Alonso, Moreno and others on board the helicopter.

Puebla is one of 31 Mexican states, located due east of Mexico City. It has an estimated population of over 6 million residents.