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Two Americans died when their helicopter, which was participating in aid and recovery operations in earthquake-hit Haiti, crashed in the Dominican Republic, aviation authorities said.

The US-registered helicopter hit a mountain and burst into flames at Restauracion, close to the Haitian border, some 280 kilometres north-east of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s National Institute of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

The institute identified the dead Americans as James Jaloe and John Ward, but gave no more details of their mission or cargo.

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It said the helicopter was heading to Santo Domingo from the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and that it had been helping with aid operations for survivors of the quake.

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