Ex-President Killed in Helicopter Disaster

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – The former president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, 74, was killed in a helicopter crash Feb. 6.

Shortly after takeoff, the helicopter carrying four people crashed into Lake Ranco, located in the Los Ríos region of southern Chile. Three people aboard the helicopter were able to swim to shore. However, Pinera’s body was later recovered by the Chilean Navy. He often piloted his own helicopter, but it is unknown if he was flying the aircraft when it crashed. According to an autopsy report, he died from drowning.

There was widespread rainfall in the area at the time of the crash. However, it is unclear if weather played a factor in the crash.

Pinera was educated in Chile, and went on to attend Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. A businessman who in the 1970s founded the credit card company Banco, he was worth an estimated $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Pinera then entered politics, first becoming a senator. He was then elected president twice. He first served as the president of Chile from 2010 to 2014, succeeding Michelle Bachelet. He then served as president from 2018 to 2022, overseeing protests in 2019 and the pandemic.

According to a statement from the Chilean government, his funeral is scheduled for Feb. 9. Chilean President Gabriel Boric also declared three days of national mourning, though it remains unclear when that will begin because a state of national mourning is already in place due to ongoing forest fires, which have killed over 120 people.

Boric said that while he was president, Pinera “genuinely sought what he thought was best” for Chile.

On Twitter, Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou remembered Pinera, stating Pinera “always had a positive attitude” toward him personally and towards Uruguay.

Argentinian President Javier Milei also posted on Twitter, sending his condolences to Pinera’s “family, friends, and people of Chile.”

He is survived by his wife, Cecilia Morel, and the couple’s four children.

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