Former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash in the Los Ríos region.
Minister of Interior Carolina Tohá confirmed the grim news on Tuesday, revealing that Piñera was among four individuals aboard the helicopter when it crashed, resulting in his untimely demise.
While three others survived the crash and were reported to be in stable condition, the loss of the former leader has sent shockwaves throughout Chile and beyond. The cause of the crash is under investigation, with initial reports suggesting adverse weather conditions, including heavy rainfall in the area, may have played a role.
The Chilean Navy also confirmed the recovery of Piñera's body, adding to the somber reality of the situation. Piñera, aged 74, served two terms in office, from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022, leaving behind a legacy marked by significant contributions to Chilean politics and society.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric declared three days of national mourning in honor of Piñera's memory, with plans underway for a state funeral to pay tribute to the late leader.
This poignant moment of mourning comes at a challenging time for Chile, already grappling with the aftermath of devastating wildfires that claimed the lives of over 120 individuals.
Expressing solidarity with Piñera's family and the Chilean people, Minister Tohá conveyed the government's profound shock at the tragedy, highlighting Piñera's dedication to serving the nation.
Piñera, a Harvard-educated billionaire, made notable contributions to Chilean society, including his philanthropic endeavors and his leadership in times of crisis, such as during the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and the recent management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional leaders joined in mourning Piñera's passing, with Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou and Argentinian President Javier Milei extending their condolences and recalling Piñera's positive impact on regional cooperation and diplomacy.