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Italian fashion heir's plane wreckage found in Venezuela

CARACAS, June 28 — The plane wreckage of an Italian fashion heir was found recently, nearly seven months after the aircraft disappeared here, Venezuelan authorities confirmed Thursday.

Jorge Galindo, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice and the Interior (MIJ), confirmed the news via Twitter, saying the missing plane had been located. He did not offer more details.

On board the plane, a British-made twin-motor Britten Norman model BN-2 "Islander" with registration number YV2615, were Vittorio Missoni, 58, the eldest son of the founder of the Italian fashion house Missoni, his wife and two other Italian citizens and two Venezuelan crew members.

It plummeted into the sea on January 4, after taking off from Los Roques on its way to Maiquetia.

Venezuela's Public Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz also confirmed the discovery of the wreckage, saying the plane was found at 2 a.m. local time (0630 GMT) in the northern zone of the Los Roques archipelago, 76 meters underwater.

Los Roques is a series of beautiful islands in the Caribbean Sea, 168 kilometers north of La Guaira port in the state of Vargas, which borders the region of capital Caracas.

On June 19, Venezuelan authorities reported finding another plane that went missing in 2008 some 9 kilometers from Los Roques with 14 passengers on board.

Both planes were located with the help of an U.S. oceanographic ship with the technology of probing the sea floor.

According to press reports, after the news was confirmed, Missoni's family issued a statement, thanking the governments of both Venezuela and Italy for their support and expressing their confidence in the investigation to determine the cause of the accident. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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