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Helicopters battling Spanish wildfire crash

Valencia, Spain - Two helicopters crashed while battling a wildfire in eastern Spain in unrelated accidents on Monday, leaving one pilot missing and feared dead, and injuring two other pilots, officials said.

The two helicopters came down while fighting a blaze that has raged since Thursday at Cortes de Palla near Valencia, a spokeswoman for the local emergency services said.

A firefighter helicopter drops water during a wildfire in Macastre near Valencia July 2, 2012. At least 2,000 people have been evacuated from Spain's popular tourist region of Valencia as the worst forest fires in more than a decade raged out of control, causing a huge cloud of ash to pour into the country's third-largest city. REUTERS/Heino Kalis. Credit: REUTERS

The first helicopter crashed near the Forata reservoir and the sole pilot of the aircraft was missing, she said.

“A team is still looking for him,” the spokeswoman said.

The second helicopter crashed about half an hour later in the Sierra Martes, said a spokesman for the central government's representative in the region of Aragon, where the aircraft are based.

“The two pilots of that helicopter were injured and have been taken to hospital,” he said.

No further information about their condition was available. - Sapa-AFP

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