Mexican tycoon killed in helicopter crash

MEXICO CITY Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:31am GMT

1 of 2. Ambulances wait near at the site of a helicopter crash in Mexico City January 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Aguilar

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican business tycoon was killed along with at least two members of his family in a helicopter crash on the outskirts of Mexico City on Sunday night, emergency officials said.

Moises Saba Masri, a powerful executive with interests ranging from telecoms to real estate, died along with five other people including the pilot, said Elias Moreno, the head of the city's emergency services.

"Apparently it was bad weather," Moreno said on Formato 21 radio. Mexico City has experienced unusually cold weather and foggy conditions for the past several days.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was at the scene of the crash in a wooded area on the edge of Mexico's sprawling capital along with Saba's relatives and members of the close-knit Jewish community, the radio said.

Masri, with important holdings in Mexican telecom company Unefon and broadcaster TV Azteca, was cleared on fraud charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008.

The Saba family lost a fierce bidding war against U.S. bank Citigroup in 2007 to buy money-losing airline Aeromexico. The Sabas also control pharmaceutical company Grupo Casa Saba.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg, Cyntia Barrera and Armando Tovar; Editing by Eric Beech)

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