Former Chile president Piñera drowned following helicopter crash –prosecutor

SANTIAGO — Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera died from asphyxiation due to submersion after the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a lake in southern Chile on Tuesday, the local prosecutor’s office reported on Wednesday.

Chile’s Legal Medical Service, the state coroner’s office, in the southern city of Valdivia conducted an autopsy overnight on Piñera, who died at the age of 74, before his remains were sent to receive state honors in the Chilean capital on Wednesday.

“As the prosecutor’s office, we are now in a position to be able to inform the community that the medical-legal cause of the death of former President Sebastian Piñera is asphyxiation due to submersion,” Tatiana Esquivel, the local prosecutor where the accident happened, told reporters.

Esquivel added that they still haven’t determined the cause of the accident but that forensic data is allowing them to develop a “more probable theory” and a specialized team is currently investigating the crash site.

The helicopter carrying the two-time president of Chile (2010-2014 and 2018-2022) crashed in the waters of Lake Ranco, which is located in a tourist area of ??lakes, forests and volcanoes in southern Chile, shortly after takeoff.

Starting on Wednesday, the remains of the former president will remain at the headquarters of the former Congress in Santiago. The viewing will be private before being opened to the public and a funeral will be held on Friday. — Reuters

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