SANTIAGO – At least four people died on Sunday when the small plane they were traveling in crashed near the Lequecahue airport in Chile’s southern Biobio region, police said.
Four passengers — a woman and three men — died after the plane had a troubled landing, said Humberto Toro, the governor of Arauco, noting the region´s high winds.
The aircraft, which was owned by a private company, was flying the Mocha Island-Tirua route about 720 kilometres (445 miles) south of Santiago, the official told a Chilean television network.
The Carabineros – Chile’s militarized police – identified the victims as pilot Boris Schultz Faundez, Leticia Guzman Pincheira, Gilberto Varela Guzman and Franklin Moya Herrera, all residents of the island.
Arauco Gov. Humberto Toro told Television Nacional that “the weather we’re having is rather complex, there was a lot of wind, and so travel conditions were not good and at the moment when (the plane) was landing it crashed.”
Toro emphasized that the pilot was experienced and confirmed that the flight was one of many that ply the route between the island and the mainland.
The Arauco sub-prefect, Commander Roberto Troncoso, also said that rather adverse weather conditions had prevailed on Sunday in the area, which is located 571 kilometers (354 miles) south of Santiago.