Aviation News

September 4, 2011

Chilean President Declares Days of Mourning for Plane Crash Victims

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By: BNO News
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Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Sunday announced two days of national mourning starting from Monday in memory of the 21 people who died in a plane crash on Friday.

A CASA 212 similar to this one crashed off the Pacific coast of Chile on Friday, killing all 21 on board.

A CASA 212 similar to this one crashed off the Pacific coast of Chile on Friday, killing all 21 on board.

During his visit to the military base Group 10 of the Chilean Air Force (FACH), Piñera said the decision is “a way of expressing solidarity with the families of the victims and contribute to the pain they have suffered” along with thousands of people across the country.

“We have and will continue doing what is humanly possible to find the remains of the occupants of the crashed plane,” Piñera added, acknowledging that in this scenario it cannot be guaranteed that the search for missing people will be successful.

The announcement came after the president bid farewell to one of the four crash victims whose bodies have been found and identified. Before the ceremony, Piñera communicated by video conference with Defense Minister Andrés Allamand, who is at the crash site.

A CASA 212 aircraft belonging to the Chilean Air Force crashed near a group of islands off the country’s Pacific Coast on Friday, killing all 21 people on board. The aircraft was heading towards the Juan Fernandez Islands, which are located in the South Pacific Ocean around 600 kilometers (373 miles) off the country’s coast.

It was carrying staff and film crew of “Buenos Días a Todos” (Good Morning Everyone), a local TV show broadcast by TVN. The group was going to cover the islands’ earthquake reconstruction efforts.

The cause of the accident remains uncertain, but harsh weather conditions could have made the landing difficult, as the plane went down on the opposite side of its destination.