CASTRO, Chile (BNO NEWS) — Search-and-rescue workers have recovered an eighth body after a small plane crashed in southern Chile earlier this week, officials said on Saturday. There were no survivors.
The accident happened at around 12:35 p.m. local time on Thursday when the Chilean Air Force received an emergency signal from the twin-engine Piper Navajo aircraft, which was registered to the Aerohein aviation company. The plane went down in the Piedra Blanca area of Chiloe Island, part of an archipelago located off the coast of Chile in the Los Lagos Region.
The Ministry of National Defense said the aircraft was traveling from the Chilean town of Melinka in Aisén Province and was heading to Quellon on the Greater Island of Chiloe. It was being piloted by a person identified as Ricardo Hein and a total of seven passengers were on board.
Chilean Defense Minister Andres Allamand said communication with the aircraft was lost as it began to prepare for landing at Quellon’s airport. Search-and-rescue teams later found the wreckage in a nearby mountain, but the fuselage was completely destroyed which made it difficult to locate.
Allamand said seven bodies were recovered on Friday, and the eighth body was recovered on Saturday.
The cause of the accident was not immediately known. Authorities said the aircraft had enough fuel as it was scheduled to continue on another flight after landing in Quellon. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were said to be suitable for air travel.
In September 2011, a total of 21 people were killed when a Chilean Air Force aircraft crashed near a group of islands off the country’s Pacific Coast. Among those on board were staff members of “Buenos Días a Todos” (Good Morning Everyone), a local TV show broadcast by TVN.