Home » This video is not of Sebastián Piñera’s helicopter accident

This video is not of Sebastián Piñera’s helicopter accident

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This video is not of Sebastián Piñera’s helicopter accident

A video of a helicopter falling into the water is circulating on social networks and which some users have linked to the plane accident suffered by the former president of Chile Sebastián Piñera on February 6. “Moment in which the helicopter carrying Piñera falls, causing his death,” say several viral posts on Facebook and X that share the images and place them in Lake Ranco (Chile). However, this is a hoax.

While it is true that the helicopter in which the former Chilean president was traveling plunged into Lake Ranco, These images are decontextualized and they show, in reality, another different accident, which occurred in January 2024 in Lake Furnas (Brazil). Chilean verifiers have also denied that the video belongs to the former president’s accident.

Context. Sebastián Piñera, former Chilean president, died on Tuesday, February 6, at the age of 74 after the helicopter in which he was traveling – and which he himself piloted – crashed into Lake Ranco, 923 kilometers south of Santiago de Chile. Since that moment, content like the one we are verifying in this article has been circulating on social networks and some media outlets, which claim to show images of the accident or the moments before the impact.

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The video of the helicopter falling into the water was recorded in Lake Furnas (Brazil), not in Chile

A reverse search on Google of a frame of the viral video shows among its results – in addition to the publications of January in Brazil. The notes include the same video of the helicopter and claim that it was recorded that day in at Lake Furnas“located in Espírito Santo, in the central-west of Minas Gerais [un estado brasileño]”, but they do not cite Piñera.

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CNN Brazil cited the accident in its news and included the images that are now shared as if they were related to the former president of Chile. The Brazilian digital UOLa member of the IFCN (International Fact-Checking Network) like Newtral.es, also reported the event, as did some international media. Likewise, verifiers of Bad feeling – also members of the IFCN – denied that the recording was related to Piñera.

Piñera drowned in Lake Ranco after the helicopter he was piloting sank

As collected by different news agencies y national media and international, Sebastián Piñera died on February 6 at 3:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. GMT) in Lake Ranco, in the southern region of Los Ríos, when the helicopter he was crewing suffered an accident in which he fell into the water due to bad weather conditions. Three more people were traveling on the aircraft: his sister, Magdalena Piñera, businessman Ignacio Guerrero and his son, Bautista Guerrero.

These three people managed to get out of the helicopter and swim to shore under their own power. However, Piñera was trapped by the seat belt – which he could not remove – and sank into the lake. As reported by the BBCthe autopsy carried out by professionals from the Legal Medical Service (SML) confirmed that the cause of death of the former president was asphyxiation due to submersion.

The viral video that we verified in this article and that some users falsely share as if it were current and belonged to Piñera’s accident does not appear in any of these entries, since it has no relationship with the politician’s death.

  • This is our work methodology. After the verification process, and based on the data, we award one of these categories:

  • Misleading

    The content contains correct data, but ignores very important elements or is mixed with incorrect data, giving a different, inaccurate or false impression

  • False

    The content is false

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