Former president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, has reportedly died in a helicopter crash.
Pinera alongside other three people was said to be on board when the chopper crashed into a lake in southern Chile on Tuesday, February 8, 2024, plunging the country into mourning.
Although the other people on board the aircraft survived the incident, the 74-year late president was said to be pronounced dead, shortly after emergency responders arrived at the scene of the incident.
While it has not been officially verified, who the pilot of the aircraft was or the destination of the chopper, it was reported that Pinera was the pilot, as he frequently operated his helicopter and spent the summers in the Southern Hemisphere close to the scenic lakes that dot Chile’s southern region.
However, President Gabriel Boric has announced three days of national mourning for the former president.
According to the Interior Minister in the country, Carolina Toha, the former president’s body had been found in the lake close to the town of Lago Ranco.
Toha further said, “We remember him for the way he dedicated his life to public service.”
The late Pinera ruled the country for two non-consecutive terms, from 2010 and 2022.
His most well-known international recognition came from his supervision of the amazing 2010 rescue of 33 miners who had become stranded beneath the Atacama desert. The incident gained international awareness and served as the inspiration for the 2014 film “The 33.”
He was popular in Chile as a prosperous businessman whose first term was enriched by the nation’s quick economic expansion, but who was frequently viewed as disconnected from the nation’s rapidly evolving culture.