WWD has reported this morning that the search for the plane that went missing on January 4th, carrying Vittorio Missoni, has been stepped up by Venezuelan authorities.
The Italian newspaper, La Stampa, reported that Venezuelan pilot Enrique Rada saw the aircraft entering "an aggregation of clouds." Rada was flying a Cessna 402 nearby said that Missoni's twin-engine Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander plane may have been "hit by a bolt of lightning."
But this may not be correct. Another pilot, Piergiorgio Serloni, is quoted as describing the 72-year-old Rada as "one of the most expert and respected pilots in Los Roques," and that "the information he received from the control tower, perhaps, may have been incorrect."
According to Nestor Reverol, Venezuela's minister for justice and home affairs, Missoni's plane carrying Missoni, wife Maurizia Castiglioni, two longtime friends and two crew members took off from Los Roques on Friday heading to the Simon Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, about 13 miles from downtown Caracas. It sent out its last signals about 10 nautical miles from Los Roques before disappearing. Missoni and his friends were staying at a hotel off the main island that is only reachable by plane.
Yesterday afternoon, the Venezuelan government issued a statement saying that more than 385 people among search and rescue crews, police and civil protection workers are involved in the search efforts.
Meanwhile, Vittorio Missoni's eldest son Ottavio Junior has taken to Twitter, sending out a message reading "Please help us find my father!" The tweet also features a link to Vogue.it, where the editorial team posted a message asking those in Venezuela with any information to contact the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs by calling the Crisis Unit or e-mailing the Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela Missoni's daughter Margherita Maccapani is also using Twitter to tweet articles regarding her uncle, while on Sunday night, Jennifer Missoni, daughter of Luca, wrote: "We pray. We believe. We won't stop until we #findvittoriomissoni !!!!!."