Three police officers died when the helicopter they were using to make a nighttime training flight crashed five kilometers (three miles) northwest of the city of Tingo Maria in Peru's central jungle, the National Police reported Wednesday in a communique.

The aircraft had taken off from Tingo Maria at 8 p.m. on Tuesday on a flight to train the crew in the use of night vision goggles and other equipment, the communique said.

The wreckage of the chopper, which was used for coca leaf eradication work, was found five km northwest of Tingo Maria in the Huanuco jungle, but initially authorities found the bodies of only two of the three crewmembers, police said.

The National Police command said that the air accident investigation board had been ordered to "begin the investigation with an eye toward determining the cause" of the crash.

Peruvian authorities concentrate their work to eradicate plantings of coca leaf - the raw material of cocaine - in the Huanuco and San Martin jungle zones. EFE