Fashion house scion missing off Venezuela
CARACAS — Rescue crews used boats and aircraft on Saturday to search for a small plane that disappeared off Venezuela carrying the CEO of Italy's iconic Missoni fashion house and five other people.
But more than a day after the BN-2 Islander aircraft disappeared from radar screens on its short flight from Venezuela's coastal resort islands of Los Roques to Caracas, no sign of the plane had been found, officials said.
‘‘We have no other news” about the plane carrying Vittorio Missoni, the head of the company; his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni; two of their Italian friends; and two Venezuelan crew members, said Paolo Marchetti, a Missoni SpA official. He spoke briefly to reporters as he left company headquarters in the northern Italian town of Sumirago on Saturday afternoon.
Missoni's younger brother Luca, who is active in the family-run business, was reportedly traveling to Venezuela to monitor search efforts.
‘‘We're holding onto a glimmer of hope,” said Oswaldo Scalvenzi , a relative of Elda Scalvenzi, one of the Missoni friends aboard the flight. ‘‘Until we can see the wreckage,” hope will remain, Scalvenzi told Italian state TV.
Search teams were using a plane and a helicopter, working together with the Venezuelan coast guard, Venezuela's National Civil Aviation Institute said in a statement on Saturday.
The twin-engine plane had enough fuel on board for a three-hour flight, said Francisco Paz Fleitas, president of the civil aviation agency. Paz said the plane took off at 11:39 a.m. Friday and had been expected to arrive at Caracas' Simon Bolivar International Airport 42 minutes later.
The civil aviation agency said the authorities declared an alert when the plane did not make contact with the control tower at the Caracas airport or with the tower in Los Roques.
Vittorio Missoni played a key role in marketing the Missoni family creations in Asia.