[QODLink]
Americas
TV presenter among Chile plane crash missing
Air force plane with 21 people aboard went down in Pacific Ocean during flight to Juan Fernandez islands.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2011 02:59
Chile's president and defence minister attend a press conference at an air force base in Santiago [Reuters]

A Chilean air force plane with 21 people aboard, including a popular local television host, has crashed in the ocean near the Juan Fernandez islands off the country's Pacific coast, authorities said.

The CASA 212 military plane tried twice to land at the remote islands' airport on Friday but strong wind gusts buffeted the aircraft and it later was lost from sight, said Felipe Paredes, a local council member who was in the airport's control tower at the time.

Rescuers in boats were searching for the plane, but the mayor of Juan Fernandez, Leopoldo Gonzalez, said some luggage had been found in the water.

"We assume that there was an accident and that there are no survivors," he said.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said authorities would do "everything necessary" to investigate the causes of the accident and recover those aboard the plane.

"This is a blow to our country. These times of anguish and uncertainty are when unity is most needed," Pinera said.

Authorities said a popular Chilean television personality was among those flying to the main island from Santiago, the Chilean capital.

Felipe Camiroaga was visiting islands to film a programme on reconstruction efforts following the magnitude-8.8 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out the main town on February 27, 2010.

The 44-year-old TV presenter was one of five people from Television Nacional's programme "Good Morning Everyone" who were travelling to the island.

"We are extremely upset," Mauro Valdes, TVN executive director, said.

Also on board was businessman Felipe Cubillos, a brother-in-law of the defence minister who had been working on post-earthquake reconstruction.

The Juan Fernandez archipelago, about 830km west of Chile's coast, is known for possibly having inspired Daniel Defoe's 18th century novel "Robinson Crusoe".

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.