The former president of Chile Sebastián Píñera (74) died from “asphyxiation by submersion”. This was revealed by the first results of the autopsy on the body of the former president who drowned in Lake Ranco, about 900 kilometers south of Santiago, after the helicopter he was driving crashed.
The information was disseminated by La Tercera, which cited sources familiar with the procedures carried out by the Legal Medical Service. Before the press, the regional director of the SML slipped: The autopsy gave us a fairly definitive cause of death, however after talking with the relatives and agreeing with them, it is something that we will keep in reserve.”
For her part, the prosecutor of the Lago Ranco region, Tatiana Esquivel, stated that the autopsy lasted four hours and that the next stage of the investigation will be test the helicopter which crashed around 3 p.m. this Tuesday and was submerged at 25 meters.
The result of the autopsy was known around 10 this Wednesday, at a time when Piñera's remains began to be laid to rest in the Hall of Honor of the former National Congress, in the Chilean capital. Around noon, a private ceremony was expected in the former Congress, which a small number of family and friends were going to attend.
In the afternoon, the doors of what was the headquarters of the Legislature in Santiago – that power currently operates in the city of Valparaíso – were going to be opened so that the general public could say goodbye to the former president.
The wake will continue on Thursday, and on Friday the remains will be transferred to La Moneda and then to the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the Plaza de Armas of the capital, for the celebration of tributes. Finally, the response and burial will be on Friday at the Parque del memoria cemetery in Huechuraba.
Piñera's death: what is known
The two-time president of Chile (2010-2014 and 2018-2022) spent the southern summer holidays at his home in Bahía Coique, on the shores of Lake Ranco. This Tuesday he had gone to eat at the nearby house of José Cox, a businessman friend. Upon returning, after taking off and flying for a few minutes, he lost control of the device and fell into the water, in the municipality of Futrono. After the work carried out by a team of divers, his body was rescued from the bottom of the lake.
On Tuesday night, the body of the former president arrived in Valdivia, where the Legal Medical Service performed an autopsy. For now There were three hypotheses that were being considered in the Public Ministry: bad weather conditions, an erroneous maneuver resulting from poor visibility or some health problem that prevented Piñera from reaching his destination, his summer home in Bahía Coique.
Piñera was traveling with three other people, including his sister Magdalena Piñera Echenique. Last night, at the last minute, the historian and executive director of the Futuro Foundation until last December said goodbye to him with a heartfelt message. “He was a great man… very generous and very brave,” she said briefly before the Meganoticias microphones.
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The device, piloted by the former president, fell into the lake in the midst of strong inclement weather and Piñera sank in the waters inside the helicopter, since he was not able to unfasten his seat belt and eject, as his companions could. These three testimonies will be key in the investigation.