Missoni heir's plane found in Venezuela

2013-06-27 21:19
Venezuela's Rescue Corps searching for the small plane that crashed in Los Roques islands.

Venezuela's Rescue Corps searching for the small plane that crashed in Los Roques islands. (Jorge Galindo, AFP)

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Caracas - A small plane that disappeared in January off the coast of Venezuela with six people aboard, including the scion of Italy's Missoni fashion family, has been found, officials said on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said authorities would now search the wreckage for the bodies of the two pilots and four passengers who had left Los Roques islands on 4 January en route to Caracas.

Jaua said the Italian government provided technology to search for the missing plane.

The plane was carrying a pilot, a co-pilot and four passengers, including 58-year-old Vittorio Missoni - the son of the eponymous fashion label's founder Ottavio Missoni - his wife Maurizia Castiglioni and another Italian couple when it vanished.

Vittorio Missoni was the fashion house's marketing director.

"The Islander-type YV2615 airplane that covered the Los Roques-Maiquetia (Caracas airport) route on 4 January, 2013, has been found," interior ministry spokesman Jorge Galindo wrote on Twitter.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said the airplane was 76m under water, north of the Caribbean archipelago of Los Roques.

Italy's air safety agency Ansv said in January that the plane's 72-year-old Venezuelan pilot, German Merchan, was authorised to fly.

A similar disappearance took place exactly five years ago, on 4 January, 2008.

At the time, a plane carrying 14 people, including eight Italians, went missing in the same area as it flew from Caracas to Los Roques. That wreckage was finally found on 19 June.

Ottavio Missoni, a knitwear innovator whose distinctive colourful zigzag designs became a global fashion empire, died on 9 May in his home and company headquarters in the northern Italian town of Sumirago at the age of 92.

Italian media quoted people close to the patriarch as saying that he had not been himself since his son's disappearance, and had refused to talk about it.

The fashion house was founded in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni and his wife Rosita. It now sells ready-to-wear attire for men, women and children, as well as perfume.

Missoni has also created auto interiors for Mazda cars and designed interiors for two luxury hotels, in collaboration with the Rezidor Hotel Group.

Read more on:    venezuela

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