Chilean Prosecutor Tatiana Esquivel said Wednesday that former two-time President Sebastián Piñera died of asphyxia by submersion, according to the post-mortem performed by Valdivia's Legal Medical team.
This autopsy was carried out during the night and today in the morning the relatives of former President Sebastián Piñera were informed of the result of this procedure and we as the Prosecutor's Office are also in a position to inform the community that the medico-legal cause of death of the former President is asphyxia by submersion, said Esquivel.
The main focus is to be able to establish the cause and origin of this plane crash, Esquivel added. Piñera died when the helicopter he was piloting went down minutes before 3 pm local time on Tuesday. The 3 other occupants of the aircraft, including Piñera's sister Magdalena, survived the accident over Lake Ranco, in the sector of Ilihue. Piñera's body was retrieved after 4 pm by a diver from the Gersa group of the Lago Ranco Fire Department at a depth of approximately 25 meters.
Piñera's remains are due Thursday in Santiago for state funeral honors. President Gabriel Boric Font will be actively involved in his predecessor's memorial services despite their opposing political stances.
We are organizing this state funeral in close contact with the family of former President Piñera and with the family's representative, [former Minister] Andrés Chadwick, who was also Piñera's cousin, Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren told reporters Wednesday.
Piñera, who ruled Chile between 2010 and 2014 and again between 2018 and 2022 was 74.