Sept. 3 - Chile air force plane is thought to have crashed in the Pacific Ocean after it disappeared near the Juan Fernandez islands, 21 people were on board. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL A Chilean air force plane is presumed to have crashed in the Pacific Ocean after it disappeared near the remote Juan Fernandez islands. 21 people were on board. Chile's defence minister said the CASA 212 military plane had tried to land twice. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN DEFENCE MINISTER ANDRES ALLAMAND, SAYING: "It tried the approach twice without positive result, after which, contact was lost. And that's why, at this moment, the status of that plane is disappeared. The mayor of the islands told state tv that passengers' belongings had been found in the sea about a kilometer from the landing strip. No plane remains have been found. The Juan Fernandez islands lie about 420 miles off Chile's coast. The nation's president offered his condolences to relatives waiting for word of their loved ones. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SEBASTIAN PINERA, CHILEAN PRESIDENT, SAYING: "I empathize with the anguish and uncertainty the relatives the 21 passengers aboard the plane which is presumed to have gone down are living through at this moment. I want to give them my solidarity and tell them that the entire country shares their anguish and uncertainty." National television, TV N, confirmed five of its staff members were among the passengers, including popular presenter Felipe Camiroaga. Chilean TV fans lit candles and prayed outside the gates of the Santiago station. Marie-Claire Fennessy