Brazilian Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was among seven people killed when a Cessna Citation Excel crashed around 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning while trying to land at Guaruja military air base, near the city of Santos. The Santos fire department confirmed that two people on the ground were killed when the aircraft crashed into the Boqueirão residential area, damaging five properties.
Officials from the local air accident investigation agency Seripa began the process of assessing the crash site, which is about 40 miles south-east of São Paulo, but the case is expected to be handed over to national agency Cenipa. The local officials described weather conditions as “bad” at the time of the accident and said that Guaruja had only been open to IFR operations.
The Citation was registered in Brazil (tail number PR-AFA) and operated by private company AF Andrade. According to registration details, the aircraft was still owned by the Cessna Finance Export Corporation and was licensed for private flights only.
Cessna issued the following statement: “We are aware of reports coming out of Santos, Brazil, regarding a Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ aircraft incident. Cessna Aircraft Company works closely with government aviation authorities responsible for accident investigations and has offered investigative assistance to the National Transportation Safety Board.”
Campos, 49, who was running third in opinion polls ahead of the October 5 election, had departed Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport earlier today. Rival candidates suspended campaigning for three days of mourning.