On 31 August, Jet Rescue responded to a call for help after an explosion at a customs office in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The blast caused serious injuries to six customs agents who were inside the building when it exploded, causing second and third-degree burns to more than 80 per cent of their bodies. One customs inspector was fatally injured in the explosion. Immediately after the building exploded, the victims were taken to local hospitals, but the necessary specialised burns care was not available nearby, prompting the deployment of Jet Rescue’s Learjet 25s. The first two patients were flown to a specialised burns unit in Guadalajara on 2 September, and the following day, the treating physicians decided the remaining three patients also needed to be transferred to a higher level of care. Jet Rescue’s Learjet 25s were once again deployed, one in a double-stretcher configuration, in order to fly the patients to hospital.
Columbus Division of Police, Columbus, Ohio, US, will upgrade its two remaining MD500E helicopters to MD500Fs.