Both people aboard were killed when a helicopter crashed near the central Mexican town of Lerma, authorities said.

The aircraft belonged to the government of the state of Mexico.

Pilot Romel Portillo Cervio and co-pilot Gerardo Avalos Garcia died Tuesday when the Augusta A109S Grand helicopter went down en route from the Mexico City area to Toluca, the state capital.

The chopper was reported missing at 6:25 p.m. and first responders found the wreckage of the aircraft about two hours later just 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Toluca airport, the state government said.

Gov. Eruviel Avila Villegas, "expressed his condolences to the families" of the two men and assured them the state would pay the funeral expenses, his office said in a statement.

"The governor said state authorities will collaborate with the Civil Aviation Directorate to carry out the investigations that allow the causes of the accident to be determined," the statement concluded. EFE