Helicopter pilot killed while fighting fire

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THE pilot of a helicopter that was taking part in efforts to extinguish a fire in Almansa, died when his aircraft crashed to the ground.

The fire broke out on Saturday amongst some woodland near the town of Yecla in Murcia at around midday.

According to sources at the Junta of Castilla-La Mancha, the 44-year-old pilot from Murcia was attempting to collect water from reserves near the town of Alpera in Albacete when his helicopter ran into trouble. Unfortunately, he lost control of the aircraft which smashed to the ground.

The fire affected 300 hectares of countryside in the area between Murcia and Albacete Province, and over 160 fire personnel and at least 37 aircraft battled throughout the evening and overnight in their efforts to bring the blaze under control. 

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