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21 killed in Chilean air force plane crash

Updated: 2011-09-04 10:25


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SANTIAGO - All the 21 people on a Chilean air force plane have been killed in a crash, the country's defense minister Andres Allamand told reporters on Saturday.

21 killed in Chilean air force plane crash

Military personnel move one of the four dead bodies found near the Juan Fernandez islands about 420 miles (676 km) off Chile's coast, at an air force base in Santiago September 3, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

The plane, which carried eight members of the air force, five persons from a local public television, six staffers from a humanitarian organization and two officials from the culture ministry, was flying to a small island before it got lost Friday at about 17:48 local time (2148 GMT).

The Air Force of Chile confirmed the discovery of four bodies, two women and two men, floating in the waters near the Juan Fernandez Islands.

The bodies were located by fishermen in collaboration with the government's intense searching work by air and sea in the area where the device presumably crashed.

"The bodies will be identified on the continent unless the state of the bodies allow their identification with no doubt," he said.

The Chilean Navy announced start of the process "Gleaning deep underwater, Salvage and Recovery of bodies." This task includes the participation of eight divers and a submersible capsule.

The trip to the islands with some 629 inhabitants was to inaugurate reconstruction projects for the victims of the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami of February 27, 2010.

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