World

Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Colombia, killing 15 police officers

  • Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas, right, and Colombia's Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Palomino, left, gestures during a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for Dairo Otoniel Usaga, the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas, right, and Colombia's Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Palomino, left, gestures during a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for Dairo Otoniel Usaga, the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas talks to the media during a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas talks to the media during a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia's Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Palomino arrives to attends a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Palomino arrives to attends a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. Colombia's Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said that sixteen police officers died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed while taking part in a manhunt for the nation’s most-wanted drug trafficker. Two other uniformed personnel were in critical condition and being treated for serious burns. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

Colombian police say that 15 officers have died when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed in the volatile northwest part of the country.

The police said in a statement that two other uniformed personnel are being treated for serious injuries.

Investigators are rushing to the scene to investigate what led to the crash in a jungled area near the Gulf of Uraba region. The crash site is in an area heavily influenced by Colombia's biggest drug-trafficking organization and leftist rebels, but police said that preliminary data suggest that a mechanical failure is to blame.

The incident follows the death of 11 air force personnel whose airplane crashed last week near the Caribbean coast.