THIS is the terrifying moment a presidential candidate’s helicopter plunged from the sky into the Panama jungle.
Dimitri Flores, a lawyer running for election in 2024, cheated death after his chopper plummeted to the ground during a flight from Changuinola in the north to the city of David.
Dimitri Flores cheated death after the chopper plummeted to the groundCredit: Twitter
The helicopter hit a thick bank of fog, causing the pilot to lose controlCredit: Twitter
Dimitri Flores appeared to have hurt his arm in the crashCredit: Twitter
Footage taken from inside the cockpit shows the aircraft flying over mountains before hitting a thick patch of fog that causes the pilot to lose control and plunge into trees.
All six passengers on board miraculously managed to escape – but they soon realised they were now injured and trapped in the middle of the Panamanian jungle.
Flores decided to record a video and shared a plea for help on social media, sparking a huge rescue effort.
Rescuers trekked three hours into the rainforest and managed to get the group out in the early hours of the following morning.
In the SOS video, uploaded moments after the crash on Wednesday afternoon, Flores can be heard saying: “Brother, we just had an accident here a 4,500ft on the mountain range.
“Jaramillo, brother. It crashed. We need someone to rescue us, please. I’m sure we’ve had legs and arms broken.
“Wow. We are six people. Thank God that we are alive.”
Pictures showed Flores and another member of the group sitting on chairs which have been thrown from the helicopter.
Flores appeared hurt as he held his arm, while another passenger was left with a large black eye and cut to his face, with blood on his shirt.
Some of the six passengers suffered broken bones in the crash.
The presidential candidate and his group were forced to spend several hours in the jungle as rescue helicopters struggled to land.
Flores complained in a video: “I’m very disappointed with the authorities. They flew over here with helicopters several times, helicopters which cost us millions, but which they couldn’t land here.
“There’s much work to be done for our country.”
Rescuers from the National Aeronaval Service of Panama eventually located the site of the crash, and hiked three hours to reach the group.
Once Flores and his pals were safe and well, locals took to social media to joke about his savvy use of video in the dramatic situation.
Some also asked which mobile phone company the politician was using, impressed by his signal in the middle of the jungle.
Flores has resumed campaigning for the 2024 election, where he is hoping to succeed as an independent candidate.
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