Some 22 Ecuadorean soldiers have been killed in a plane crash in the Amazon during military exercises, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa confirmed Tuesday.
“There are no survivors. Twenty-two soldiers of the motherland have left us. Our embrace of solidarity goes to their families and our Armed Forces. It is a tragedy,” the president wrote on Twitter .
Earlier, the president said that he was awaiting news of victims and survivors, and expressed “deep pain,” before confirming the fatalities.
The Arava plane crashed in the Fatima sector in a farm called La Palmira, in the western Pastaza province.
Aboard were two pilots, one mechanic, and 19 parachutists, according to information from the armed forces.
Defense minister, Ricardo Patiño, will visit the site of the crash.
“I regret to inform you of a plane crash in the army during training, near Shell, with mortal victims. I am now going to the place,” he wrote on Twitter.Ecuador’s National Assembly interrupted debates to hold a minute of silence.