Chile is in mourning following the tragic death of former President Sebastián Piñera, who died in a helicopter crash at the age of 74. Piñera, a two-term president and billionaire businessman, was piloting the aircraft when it crashed into a lake near Lago Ranco in southern Chile.
Piñera’s body was found next to the submerged helicopter, and a post-mortem revealed he drowned in the accident. While Piñera perished, the three other passengers survived the crash.
The crash occurred during Piñera’s holiday trip with his family to Bahía Coique, a lakeside resort in southern Chile. Piñera, known for his adventurous spirit, often used his private helicopter for travel in the area.
Tributes poured in for Piñera, who served as Chile’s president from 2010 to 2014 and again from 2018 to 2022. His tenure was marked by significant events, including the successful rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days in the Atacama Desert.
Despite his achievements, Piñera’s legacy was also tarnished by allegations of excessive force and torture during protests in 2019. However, he was hailed as a champion of democracy in Chile, guiding the country through crises such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Gabriel Boric declared three days of national mourning to honor Piñera’s memory. Piñera’s death comes as Chile grapples with wildfires and reflects on the impact of his leadership on the nation’s history and politics.