Mexico's interior minister and seven others onboard a government jet died Tuesday night when it crashed into a tony business district here during rush hour, igniting cars and sending dozens of people to local hospitals. The minister, Juan Camilo Mourio, 37, had been one of President Felipe Caldern's closest advisers and a rising star in the National Action Party. He headed the government's security apparatus and was the president's point man in the increasingly bloody drug war. Mr. Caldern, in an emotional news conference, said Mr. Mourio's children ought to know that he had worked "until his last moment to leave them with a better country."The Lear jet, carrying three crew members, Mr. Mourio and four of his aides, came down on busy Reforma Avenue about 6:45 p.m., scattering wreckage over a vast area."It fell on top of all the traffic, which you know is completely stopped," said Arturo Snchez Rios, a food vendor. "I saw 10 to 15 cars explode in a manner of seconds."Giant flames soared into the night sky but there were no immediate reports of deaths on the ground. Officials said nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from area office buildings. The plane had flown from San Luis Potos, where Mr. Mourio and the aides attended an official event, to Mexico City, where it was approaching the airport when it went down, officials said. As an investigation began, officials said that the crash appeared to have been an accident and that there were no signs of foul play.