BOGOTA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Four Colombian military personnel were killed on Saturday after their helicopter crashed in the mountainous Cauca department of western Colombia, according to Colombian Minister of Defense Guillermo Botero.
"We're saddened by the passing of Major Pedro Granados, Captain David Quintero, Sergeant Ramiro Santos and Corporal Eduardo Gutierrez, who were on helicopter operations in Cauca. We are with their families and the glorious Army. Peace for our heroes," Botero wrote on Twitter.
Authorities report that the four men were in a Black Hawk helicopter and had dropped a group of 20 soldiers in the rural town of Argelia, Cauca, where they were taking part in anti-drug trafficking operations.
The accident occurred when the helicopter was carrying "a large quantity of cocaine hydrochloride and a rifle" found in an illegal drugs lab, said the minister.
Authorities have already begun an investigation to find out the cause of the accident, Botero added.