Former Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera. Photo by: Cesar Itiberê/Brazilian Presidency
Sebastián Piñera, the former conservative president of Chile, passed away in a helicopter crash in a lake on Tuesday, 6. The 74-year-old politician’s demise was initially reported by the Chilean newspaper “La Tercera.”
The incident occurred in the city of Lago Ranco, located in the central region of Chile. Piñera was returning from a visit to his friend, businessman José Cox, accompanied by three other individuals.
Government sources, as reported on the newspaper’s website, confirmed that four people were on board the helicopter, and three were located by emergency teams. By the time rescuers arrived, the aircraft was already submerged in the lake’s waters.
According to the Argentine newspaper “Clarín,” Piñera was piloting the helicopter and was unable to release his seatbelt to exit the aircraft. Two individuals managed to swim to the shore, while a third was rescued in the water using a boat.
Authorities stated that the accident occurred at 2:57 PM local time. Piñera owned a residence in the rural area where the crash took place, which he used during vacations. The helicopter was reported to be privately owned.
Police and rescue teams were dispatched to the accident site. The weather conditions in the region were adverse at the time of the incident, with heavy rain.
Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou expressed his condolences for Sebastian Piñera’s death, saying:
“I have known President Piñera for several years. He has always maintained a positive attitude towards Uruguay, both professionally and personally. To the Chileans and his family, my condolences.”
Conocí al Presidente Piñera hace varios años. Siempre tuvo una actitud positiva hacia el Uruguay y en lo personal. Como muestra basta nombrar su apoyo con la logística ofrecida para la llegada de las vacunas durante la pandemia. A los chilenos y su familia mi pésame. QEPD
— Luis Lacalle Pou (@LuisLacallePou) February 6, 2024
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