Hours pass and new details emerge about the death of the former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, in a helicopter accident. The former president failed to remove his seat belt and drowned when the aircraft fell into the waters of Lake Ranco, as confirmed by the autopsy. Now, Magdalena Piñera, sister of the former head of government and one of the three other people who were on board, announced his last words and made it clear that the former president sacrificed himself to save them.
Sebastián Piñera's last words before dying
According to former government spokesperson Karla Rubilar, Piñera's sister said that before crashing, the former president asked the other crew members to jump from the helicopter. “You jump first, because if I jump with you, the helicopter is going to fall on you,” said Piñera, who tried to make a controlled descent.
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The president's sister also reported that after taking off, Piñera had told them that the helicopter had a fault. The prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Tatiana Esquivel, commented that “what comes next” are the expert reports related to the helicopter that fell into Lake Ranco “to be able to establish the cause and origin of the accident, obtain additional information and be able to find the dynamics of the events.”
The former president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, had a license to fly helicopters since 2004. (Photo: AFP).
What was the accident in which Sebastián Piñera died?
According to the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), “the helicopter registered CC-PHP, in the vicinity of the Ilhue sector, Lago Ranco, Los Ríos Region, after takeoff and after a few minutes of flight, capped on the place”.
The aircraft sank about 25 meters very close to the shore of Lake Ranco and Piñera's body had to be rescued by fire divers.
Magdalena Piñera, sister of former Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, spoke briefly to the media about her brother's death. (Photo: courtesy of Biobio Chile).
According to Chilean media, the president obtained his private helicopter pilot license in 2004, so he had extensive experience. According to witnesses, weather conditions were not optimal at that time.
Regarding the accident, the prosecutor stated that the data obtained allows them to obtain a “more probable theory” of how the tragedy happened.
Read also: Death of Sebastián Piñera: what the sister of the former president who survived the plane crash said
The accident occurred in Lake Ranco, in the Los Ríos Region, in the Iliue sector (Photo: Courtesy La Tecera)
What was the cause of death of Sebastián Piñera?
The autopsy carried out by the Valdivia Legal Medical Service during the night determined that Sebastián Piñera died from asphyxiation due to submersion. Prosecutor Esquivel specified that other types of possibilities are not considered as the cause of death.
Now, the authorities will carry out different expert reports at the accident site and DGAC experts are working to recover the helicopter from the bottom of Lake Ranco.
Read also: Former President Piñera will have a State funeral and will be veiled in the Hall of Honor of the Congress of Chile
Where will the state funeral of Sebastián Piñera be?
Chilean President Gabriel Boric decreed three days of national mourning and ordered a state funeral.
After the autopsy, Piñera's remains were removed from the headquarters of the Valdivia Legal Medical Service by his wife, Cecilia Morel, and their four children.
Citizens await the arrival of Piñera's coffin at the former National Congress, in Santiago, where the former president will be laid to rest. (Photo: REUTERS/Pablo Sanhueza).By: REUTERS
The body of the former president will then be transferred to the headquarters of the former National Congress, in Santiago, where there will be a massive wake open to the public until Friday.
That day, the coffin will be transported in a procession to the Palacio de La Moneda, where it will be honored by President Gabriel Boric, and then taken to the Cathedral of Santiago, in front of the Plaza de Armas, where a mass will be celebrated led by the archbishop of Santiago, Fernando Chomalí.
Read also: The unexpected death of Sebastián Piñera shocks the political world of Chile
Once the religious ceremony is over, the remains of Sebastián Piñera will be taken to the Parque del memoria cemetery, in the commune of Huechuraba, where the funeral will take place and he will be buried.