Venezuela finds Italian fashion boss's crashed plane

Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:15pm EDT
 
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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela said on Thursday it had found the crashed plane of Italian fashion executive Vittorio Missoni that went missing in January after taking off from the Los Roques archipelago in the Caribbean six months ago.

The small, twin-engine aircraft carrying Missoni, 58, his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple, a Venezuelan crew member, and the pilot disappeared after taking off on January 4.

"The plane that crashed on January 4 has appeared," Interior Minister spokesman Jorge Galindo said, confirming later to Reuters that it was Missoni's plane.

He said the aircraft had been found less than 3 nautical miles to the north of Key Carenero, one of the many keys that make up Los Roques.

A separate statement from Venezuela's attorney-general said the plane had been found at a depth of some 76 meters (240 feet).

The Missoni company said in a statement that the aircraft had been found with the aid of a U.S. oceanographic survey vessel.

Earlier this year, Italy's agency for flight security, ANSV, said its investigation had found that the airline that owned the plane was not fully licensed to operate and that the pilot's license had expired more than a month before the flight.

Missoni was the oldest child of the founders of the fashion house famous for its exuberantly colored knits, featuring bold stripes and zigzags. He was co-owner with siblings Luca and Angela, who handle the technical and design sides of the firm.

(Reporting by Mario Naranjo and Carlos Rawlins; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Vicki Allen)

 
A rescue team member searches for the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft YV-2615 near the archipielago of Los Roques January 6, 2013. REUTERS/Ministry of Interior and Justice/Handout