“The Chilean Air Force is providing assistance and support to the families of our comrades who died in this accident that mourns the institution.”
Five crew members of a Chilean Air Force (FACh) helicopter died in a plane crash on Monday night in the Los Lagos region, in the southern part of the country.
“The Chilean Air Force informs that, due to causes under investigation, a Bell-412 helicopter, belonging to the Aviation Group Number 5, suffered an accident at approximately 20:30 hours on July 31 in the La Cumbre sector, San Juan de la Costa commune, in the Los Lagos Region,” said the FACh in a statement.
It noted that at the time of the accident, the military aircraft was carrying out a night flight training mission. The crew was composed of five members, among them two pilots, two air crew members and a command of Parachute Rescue and Rescue Paratroopers, who died on the spot.
The statements added that “the Chilean Air Force is providing assistance and support to the families of our comrades who died in this accident that mourns the institution.”
The tweet reads, “Firefighters of Chile joins the expressions of grief at the unfortunate departure of Sebastián Escanilla Montorfano (Q.E.P.D.) Lieutenant of the Chilean Air Force and Firefighter of the Seventh Company of the Fire Department of Ñuñoa “Bomba Macul.”
The pilots were identified as captain, Matías González Cofré; lieutenant, Sebastián Escanilla Montorfano; while the crew members were first sergeant, Cristian Santibáñez Muñoz; first corporal, Hugo Verdugo and first corporal, Leonardo Vásquez Castro.
Volunteers from the Puaucho Fire Department said that the helicopter was on fire after falling in a wooded area of difficult access, at kilometer 28 of route U400, which connects Osorno with the coastal region.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric expressed his regret over the death of the FACh members at the beginning of a message broadcast on national television on Tuesday.
For its part the Chamber of Deputies observed a minute’s silence at the beginning of its session, in memory of the five deceased soldiers.
Source : Tele Sur