Missoni boss on missing aircraft
Rescue crews used boats and aircraft to search for a plane that disappeared off Venezuela carrying the boss of Italy's Missoni fashion house and five others.
But more than a day after the BN-2 Islander light aircraft disappeared from radar screens on its short flight from the Venezuelan 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 58-year-old Vittorio Missoni, chief executive 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.
Mr Missoni's younger brother Luca, who is active in the family-run business, was reportedly travelling to Venezuela yesterday to monitor search efforts.
"We're holding on to 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, he told Italian state TV.
Search teams were using a plane and a helicopter, working with the Venezuelan coastguard, Venezuela's National Civil Aviation Institute said.
The twin-engine plane had enough fuel on board for a three-hour flight, said Francisco Paz Fleitas, president of the civil aviation agency. He said the plane took off at 11.39am on Friday and had been expected to arrive at Caracas' Simon Bolivar International Airport 42 minutes later.
Authorities declared an alert after the plane did not make contact with the control tower at the Caracas airport or with the tower in Los Roques. "The last position registered in radar data and those supplied by a system on board the aircraft" was about 11 miles south of Los Roques, the agency said.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica said Venezuelan aircraft, boats and helicopters took off at dawn on Saturday to resume the search for the missing plane, which had been suspended on Friday night.