Billionaire Chilean ex-President Sebastián Piñera dies in helicopter crash

 February 7, 2024

Chilean citizens were shocked to learn of the death of one of its former presidents who happened to be a billionaire.

According to the BBC, Chilean ex-President Sebastián Piñera, a former two-term president of Chile, reportedly died in a helicopter crash this week at age 74.

The helicopter reportedly crashed in a lake near the southern town of Lago Ranco.

The other passengers in the helicopter miraculously survived the crash.

What happened?

The former president "was spending his holidays with his family in the lakeside resort of Bahía Coique, 920km (570 miles) south of the capital, Santiago," according to the BBC's report.

Notably, the former president often used his helicopter to travel around the country, and he piloted it. He was reportedly piloting the helicopter that went down.

According to an autopsy performed on his body, Piñera died as a result of drowning the lake.

The BBC noted:

Piñera had reportedly had lunch with his friend, businessman José Cox, on the southern shore of Lake Ranco and was heading back to the northern shore when his helicopter ran into problems.

It was raining at the time and there was considerable cloud but an investigation is under way to establish what exactly caused the helicopter to go down just minutes after taking off.

Passengers aboard the helicopter included his sister, Magdalena Piñera, a friend and the friend's son. They survived the crash.

Social media tributes

Tributes to the popular former president poured in across social media and from other Chilean politicians, including President Boric.

"We are all Chile and we should dream it, draw it and build it together," he said. "Sebastián Piñera said this when he assumed his second presidential term on 11 March 2018. We send a big hug to his family and loved ones in these hard times."

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wrote on X, "We got along, we worked to strengthen the relationship between our countries and we always had a good dialogue, when we were both presidents, and also when we weren't."

Others paid tribute to his service to Chile and praised his leadership style. Clearly, he will be missed and remembered.


" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.