Five people who stole a plane from a hangar in Argentina’s Chaco province died Wednesday when the plane crashed and caught fire. A gun, money and a cap belonging to the Paraguayan football club Cerro Porteño were found during the salvage.
The Cessna 206 plane crashed shortly after takeoff seven kilometers from Villa Angela, the third largest city in the Chaco region, bordering Paraguay.
“If it crashes in the city, it would be a tragedy,” prosecutor Sergio Ríos, who is in charge of investigating the accident, told local press.
At the scene, they found a 9mm handgun, money in Guarani, the Paraguayan currency, and a Cerro Porteño cap, leading investigators to believe the criminals could be Paraguayans.
“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.
He warned that identifying the victims will be difficult as the plane caught fire in the crash.
Two farm workers watched the plane lose altitude, crash to the ground and catch fire, then called the police, 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 this “valve” and ran out of gas. Not everyone knows where this fuel passage is detailed Ríos.
The singleengine fiveseater, which was stolen early Wednesday, belonged to an agricultural contractor in the area who recently bought the plane. The organizer estimated the cost at 1.55 million US dollars.
A satellite phone was also found on the plane, which would point to “a specific organization,” he pointed out.
According to the prosecutor, the group had “very significant logistics” as they managed to bypass a series of “sophisticated” alarms to carry out the theft.