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Paraguay candidate’s death in crash ruled accident

Updated at: 06/12/2013 5:05 PM
By PEDRO SERVIN

(AP) ASUNCION, Paraguay - The death of Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Oviedo in a helicopter crash in February was an accident and not the result of foul play, the prosecutor investigating the case said Wednesday.

Oviedo and his bodyguard were on a U.S.-made Robinson 44 helicopter returning from a political rally in northern Paraguay on Feb. 2 when the pilot encountered bad weather. All three died in the crash on a farm about 120 miles (200 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Asuncion.

Prosecutor Federico Espinoza said that 27 minutes into the flight, a storm with winds of up to 93 mph (150 kph) caused the pilot to crash.

"Investigators found no evidence of a fire before or after the accident and therefore ruled out a possible attack," Espinoza told reporters during a news conference to discuss the final report on the crash.

The probe was investigated by police and the civil aviation authority, with help from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The 69-year-old Oviedo was running in April’s presidential election for Paraguay’s third-largest opposition party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens. He was not among the favorites.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)