Missoni fashion heir and wife feared dead as aircraft disappears near Venezuela
Vittorio Missoni, heir to the Italian fashion house Missoni, and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni are feared dead after the small aircraft they were travelling in disappeared off the coast of Venezuela.
The Daily Mail reports that the couple were on their way home from a Christmas and New Year break when their plane vanished on Friday morning.
The other passengers on the twin-engine plane are thought to be Italian businessman Guido Foresti and his wife Elda Scalvenzi, along with two Venezuelan pilots.
The plane went missing after taking off from the resort of Los Roques, a popular holiday destination popular for scuba diving, with white beaches and coral reefs. It is located 95 miles off Venezuela's coast and the flight to the mainland should have taken around 90 minutes.
The alarm was raised after the plane failed to land at Simon Bolivar International Airport. It has not yet been found and the search operation by Venezuelan air and sea rescue services was continuing last night.
Vittoria Missoni co-owns the fashion brand with his brother and sister Luca and Angela. Luca is believed to travelling to Venezuela to monitor search efforts.
Maddalena Aspes, a spokesman for Missoni, said: "The family has been informed by the Venezuelan consulate that Vittorio Missoni and his wife are missing. We don't know any more."
The Guardian reports that Venezuelan aircraft, motorboats and helicopters had taken off at dawn yesterday to resume the search, which had been suspended on Friday night. A specialist ocean-searching naval vessel was also involved in the operation.
In January 2008, another plane returning to the mainland from Les Roques disappeared with 14 people on board. The co-pilot's body later washed ashore, but no other victims or wreckage were found.
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