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Clues sought in New Mexico helicopter crash

Key Zimbabwean opposition leader Roy Bennett died in a helicopter crash in a remote part of the U.S. state of New Mexico that also killed four others, authorities said.

New Mexico Police Department received a call around 6:00 p.m. from one of the victims in the crash who reportedly said three passengers were injured and three were unaccounted for at the time.

After arriving on the scene, officials immediately declared three of the individuals dead. Two other males were in critical condition. One died later on the scene and the other died en route to the hospital, a press release by the New Mexico State Police said.

State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed Bennett's death Thursday, a day after a helicopter carrying him and five others went down in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico. Details of why the 60-year-old Bennett was in the area were not immediately available. The crash injured one person aboard.

Friends and family members confirmed Thursday that Bennett and his wife, Heather, had traveled to New Mexico to spend their holiday with friend and wealthy businessman Charles Burnett III at his ranch. Burnett's friends, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd of Colorado and co-pilot Paul Cobb of Texas, were ferrying the group aboard a Huey UH-1 when it went down.

Despite frigid temperatures that evening, the weather appeared to be clear and the wind was mild as they headed east over a rugged area toward Burnett's ranch.

The only survivor was Andra Cobb, the co-pilot's daughter and Burnett's long-term partner. She was able to escape before the helicopter burst into flames.

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