The Mexican Ambassador to Ireland was on hand at Shannon Airport early this morning to welcome and offer support to a contingent of over 150 personnel who have been sent by the Government of Mexico to assist in the search for survivors after the catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey.
The deployment, ordered by President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador, comprising a contingent coordinated by the Ministries of Defence, Navy and Foreign Affairs, the National Civil Protection Coordination and the Red Cross, departed yesterday for Turkey to support the search and rescue efforts there.
The flight, crewed by 12 members of the Mexican Air Force, took off from the Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Mexico City early on Tuesday bound for Adana Airport in Turkey. The flight made initial stopovers at Ontario and Gander International Airports in Canada before continuing to Shannon Airport.
The Mexican Air Force Boeing 737-800 jet arrived at Shannon Airport at around 4.00am on a refuelling stop before continuing to Adana Airport in Turkey.
The Mexican Embassy in Ireland confirmed that Ambassador Carolina Zaragoza Flores travelled to Shannon Airport this morning to meet the flight and was accompanied by the Mexican Deputy Military Attaché to Ireland, Coronel Oscar Flores.
The specialised inter-institutional urban search and rescue team, which includes USAR-accredited personnel, is made up of 150 elements from the Defence Ministry, the Ministry of the Navy and the Mexican Red Cross.
The team includes medical and food service cells; 35 search and rescue experts from the Mexican Army Immediate Emergency Response Team (ERIED) (25 specialists and 10 canine teams); 37 members of the Navy (35 USAR and 2 canine teams); five Foreign Ministry officials and 15 members of the Red Cross.
The Government of Mexico has reiterated its solidarity with the government and people of Turkey and has conveyed its condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by the earthquake.
The flight departed Shannon at around 6.45am for the almost 5-hour flight to Adana International Airport in Turkey.