Plane crash leaves Paraguay ministers, two others dead

Published: July 27, 2018 17:24:38 | Updated: July 28, 2018 21:58:12

Luis Gneiting

Paraguay Agriculture Minister Luis Gneiting, his vice-minister and two others have died when an airplane carrying them to the capital Asuncion crashed into a wetland.

National Emergency Secretariat head Joaquin Roa informed the media about the accident that took place on Wednesday.

Joaquin Roa said that emergency workers were trying to recover the bodies and that the aircraft was “totally disintegrated,” reports Reuters.

A search and rescue team located the small aircraft on Thursday morning six kilometers (3.73 miles) from the airport in the southern city of Ayolas, where the plane took off, Luis Aguirre, head of the National Civil Aviation Directorate said.

“The remains of the plane were found in a wetland. The tip of the tail is visible and the rest of the plane is underwater,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre added that the plane was only in the air for two or three minutes and did not reach a high altitude before falling.

Gneiting’s vice-minister for cattle, Vicente Ramirez, and the plane’s pilot and co-pilot also died in the crash.

The pilot, Gerardo López, was a former agriculture vice-minister.

Gneiting, who took office two months ago, is a former governor of Itapua department, one of Paraguay’s main soy producing regions.

“All of Pagaguay is in mourning over this accident,” President-elect Mario Abdo, who will take office on Aug. 15, told reporters.

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