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Puerto Rico spends $8M for public air ambulance amid crisis

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Thursday that his administration spent $8 million to buy a helicopter for the island's health department.

By: AP | San Juan | Published: December 30, 2016 4:34:48 am

Puerto Rico’s government has bought its own air ambulance months after the U.S. territory was left without one as a result of the administration’s financial crisis.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Thursday that his administration spent $8 million to buy a helicopter for the island’s health department. The announcement comes seven months after the only air ambulance company then operating in Puerto Rico suspended its services because of an unpaid multimillion-dollar government debt.

Since that service suspension, a handful of private air ambulances have started, reporting a combined average of around 50 trips a month. But the governor said he didn’t want the island to risk being left without an air ambulance again.

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