Chile’s capital has seen two people killed in an airport shooting. Authorities said it was an attempt to rob more than $32m of cash from a Miami-bound plane.
After around 10 heavily armed robbers evaded security to get onto the runway at Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, a security officer and an alleged robber were both killed in the incident that occurred Wednesday, a security officer was also injured.
Interior sub-secretary Manuel Monsalve stated that they had attempted to steal $32.5m (PS27.4m), in cash from a LATAM Airlines plane. The money was being transferred to an armored truck.
The shoot-out between the would-be robbers, security officers and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation was then triggered. One employee of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) was killed as well as the alleged assailant.
Two vehicles that had been burned were found near the scene.
“The courageous action of the DGAC officers frustrated the robbery,” Mr Monsalve stated, noting that the alleged attackers were “highly organized” and “very armed.”
Social media footage showed bullet holes in a Delta plane parked right next to the LATAM target aircraft.
Another clip seems to capture a moment during the shoot-out, when several gunshots are heard.
Raul Jorquera, chief of DGAC, stated that there was no risk to passengers.
The $32.5m was transferred to an armoured vehicle and was to be distributed to various banks in South America.
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According to Mr Jorquera, the attempted heist will “undoubtedly force us to revise protocols and processes that must be improved…it forces us to rethink many items.”
This is not the first attack on Chile’s airport.
The thieves took $15m (PS12.6m), six years after another $10m (PS8.4m), heist.
On Wednesday, President Gabriel Boric spoke out condemning the latest heist and stating that “when there is insecurity, all else wobbles”.
Recent polls indicate that Mr Boric’s approval rating has declined due to an increase in violent crime.