As many as 21 people were killed when a military airplane crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Chile’s Juan Fernández Island, Chile’s government said on Saturday.
The military aircraft FACh CASA C-212 crashed Friday afternoon after two failed attempts to land on the island as heavy winds and sporadic rains hit the area.
Rescuers and fishermen recovered bodies of two men and two women. The plane crash is one of Chile's worst air disasters in recent years. Rescuers had also found pieces of the plane's wreckage in the Pacific Ocean on Early Saturday.
One arrives at the conclusion that the impact was so strong that it must have killed those aboard instantly, Defense Minister Andres Allamand told reporters on Saturday.
After a search involving the commander in chief of the FACh (Chilean air force) the conclusion has been reached that the impact was so powerful it would have led to the instant death of those on board the plane, Allamand said.
Among the passengers were eight members of the air force and five TVN national television staff members, including popular Chilean TV host Felipe Camiroaga, six staffers from a humanitarian organization and two officials from the culture ministry, Xinhua reported.
The TVN national television crew was planning to shoot the reconstruction on the small island after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on of Feb. 27, 2010.
Camiroaga, 44, is Chile’s popular TV host who had co-hosted the Vina del Mar music festival in 2009 and 2010.