Peruvian authorities say a woman trying to approach the country's Cabinet chief with a letter walked into the spinning rotor of a just-landed army helicopter and was killed.

Cabinet chief Pedro Cateriano had just arrived in Peru's northern Tumbes region when the accident happened Thursday. He had come to supervise government projects aimed at lessening the possibility of flood damage from heavy rains expected from the El Nino weather phenomenon.

The army identified the dead woman as 20-year-old Dioselinda Zapata. Officials said the rotor blade struck the left side of her head.

Municipal official Kathia Izquierdo said the woman's brother reported she was trying to deliver a letter to the Cabinet chief asking that a relative be freed from prison.