President Barack Obama has called Mexico's president to offer condolences for the death of Mexico's No. 2 official in a helicopter crash.
Interior Secretary Franciso Blake Mora died along with seven government colleagues in the crash Friday. Blake Mora was a key figure in Mexico's battle with drug cartels.
Obama spoke with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in a call from Air Force One and expressed his sympathies for the deaths.
Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says Obama considered those lost to be close partners of the United States and strong public servants of the Mexican people.
Calderone has said the crash was probably an accident.