- May 14, 2012
Plane Carrying Vittorio Missoni Goes Missing
MILAN — Vittorio Missoni, head of the family owned Missoni fashion business, and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, were aboard a plane that disappeared off the radar on Friday near the tourist archipelago of Los Roques, Venezuela.
According to Nestor Reverol, Venezuela’s minister for justice and home affairs,
the small twin-engine airplane, which took off from Los Roques headed to the Simon Bolivar International airport in Maiquetia, about 13 miles from downtown Caracas, sent out its last signals about 10 nautical miles from Los Roques before disappearing.
Missoni, the 58-year-old son of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, and his wife were on vacation in Venezuela with four Italian friends, and two of them were traveling on the missing plane as well. The Britten-Norman BN-2 aircraft had two crew members.
A number of boats and a couple of Venezuelan Navy planes immediately started conducting the search, which will resume today after having been temporally interrupted during the night.
Angela Missoni Releases Statement On Her Missing Brother: 'We Will Not Give Up’
Vittorio Missoni, the chief executive of the Missoni fashion house, was reported missing this weekend. The 58-year-old was on an aircraft that disappeared off the coast of Venezuela during its short flight from the resort island of Los Roques. A naval ocean-searching vessel joined the hunt for Vittorio and his wife, Maurizia Castiglioni, as well as two friends and two crew who were also on board. As yet, no sign of the plane has been found. This afternoon, Angela Missoni has released the following statement:
‘I am now in Rome and in direct contact with the Italian Foreign Ministry and the State Police to report the disappearance of my brother while also co-ordinating all information and offers of aid that we have received globally.
'My brother Luca is now in Venezuela and is an active part of the search. He is a pilot and is also involved in the flight search over the area. Our AD, Alberto Piantoni, has just joined Luca in Venezuela. They are in direct touch with the Venezuelan authorities, the Unity of Crisis and the Italian Embassy.
'My children and nephews are all with my parents and are together at this difficult time.
'We are all moved by the affection and help that we have had from the whole world and thankful to the Authorities for their tireless search and rescue efforts.
'At this time, we have no further specifics regarding the search except to say we are confident they will continue at the same pace and the search with explore all possibilities. Our deepest thanks go to the multitude of supporters that have reached out to us from all over the world. We ask that you join us in the hope that the Missoni, Scalvenzi and Foresti families will soon be reunited.
We are full of hope and trust the great work the Authorities have been doing so far. We will not give up.’
Pilot Says He Watched Missoni Plane Vanish [Updated]
By Hilary Moss
While the search continues near Los Roques, Venezuela, for the plane carrying Missoni CEO Vittorio Missoni and five others, Enrique Rada, whose Cessna 402 took off after the BN2 Islander, told Turin's La Stampa (via Reuters): "I saw them right in front of me as they were swallowed up by a huge cumulus cloud ... It was a lightning bolt. It must have been a lightning bolt." He tried to make radio contact with the aircraft, but couldn't reach the pilot. Italian media speculate the passengers may have been kidnapped.
Update: The Daily Beast writes that the son of Guido Foresti (one of the five people in the plane with Missoni) received a text message from his father last night reading, "Call now, we are reachable."
Italian telephone company Telecom Italia Mobile confirmed to a local television station that the message was sent, but they say they cannot verify exactly when it was written. Foresti's son had been in regular contact with his father and says that he had heard from him before the plane took off, making the message even more curious.
The son has tried to call since, but the phone is no longer on.
I think it's pretty sad because the chances of them being alive are pretty slim