Former President Dead After Devastating Helicopter Crash

( – Sebastián Piñera served as the president of Chile for two terms, the first from 2010 to 2014, and then again from 2018 to 2022. During his time in office, he oversaw the rescue of 33 trapped miners, the recovery after the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami, legalization of same-sex marriage, and pandemic response. Sadly, he has now passed away.

On February 6, Piñera was traveling by helicopter with three other people. Authorities have not said where the flight was headed. But it fell out of the sky and plunged into a lake in southern Chile near the town of Lago Ranco. Rescue workers pulled the former president and the other passengers from the water.

Rescue workers pronounced Piñera dead, but the other three survived the accident. In the weeks leading up to the ex-president’s death, the country has been fighting major wildfires. The Associated Press reported Chilean President Gabriel Boric talked about the former president in a speech the day he died, saying he was known for always seeking “the best for his country.”

Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, also issued her own condolences, saying she didn’t share the same views as Piñera but they “were always united by a relationship of great respect” saying the late Chilean president “was a right-wing man but deeply democratic.”

The 74-year-old former president oversaw two terms of growth while he was in office. During his first term, the economy grew by more than 5%, and by an average of 3% in his second term. When he wasn’t serving as a politician, he was one of the most successful businessmen in the country. Piñera was worth more than $2 billion, making him one of the richest people in the country. However, his second term was marked by social unrest as a result of the global health crisis.

Boric announced there would be three days of national mourning. His state funeral will take place on February 9.

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