Five people who stole a plane from a hangar in Chaco province, in ArgentinaHe died this Wednesday at the age of 18 after the plane crashed and was set on fire. The plane, a model Cesna 206She crashed shortly after takeoff.
The crash happened seven kilometers from the town of Villa Angela, on Argentina’s border with Paraguay. “If it crashed in the city, it would be a tragedy,” prosecutor Sergio Ríos, who is investigating the accident, told the local press.
At the crash site, authorities found a 9mm handgun, money in Guaranís (Paraguayan currency), a cap belonging to Paraguayan football club Cerro Porteño, and a satellite phone. The clues suggest that the thieves, who have not yet been identified, were Paraguayans and had a specific organization.
Cessna aircraft in flight in Baltimore, USA on June 24, 2020. A similar model aircraft was stolen in Argentina and crashed shortly after Photo: Rosem Morton / NYT
According to the Argentine newspaper Clarín, investigators suspect that the group is linked to drug trafficking. However, identifying the victims becomes difficult as the plane caught fire in the accident. “We have already communicated with the Civil Aviation Accident Investigation Board (JIAAC) and protected the site, except for the removal of the bodies,” the prosecutor told Argentina’s radio LT7.
Two farm workers watched as the plane lost altitude, crashed to the ground and burst into flames, and then they called the police, the Norte de Chaco newspaper reported. “They explained to me that the plane has a hidden locking system and when they took off they forgot to open that ‘valve’ and they ran out of gas. Not everyone knows where this fuel passage is,” Ríos explained.
In addition to the evidence found at the crime scene, authorities will be basing their investigation on footage from one of the surveillance cameras.
The fiveseater single engine stolen early Wednesday belonged to an agricultural businessman in the area. He had reportedly recently bought the plane for BRL 8 million.
According to prosecutors, the group had “very significant logistics” in that they managed to bypass a series of “sophisticated” alarms to carry out the theft.
The newspaper Clarín pointed out that theft of planes has become common in northern Argentina. A BRL 3.3 million Chaco flight club plane was stolen at Christmas and investigations also point to the actions of a drug trafficking faction. /With information from AFP