A pilot of a Cessna 402 who says he took off a minute after the missing plane carrying fashion giant Vittorio Missoni gave an ominous description of a cloud that appeared to swallow the aircraft.”I saw them right in front of me as they were swallowed up by a huge cumulus cloud,” pilot Enrique Rada told Turin daily La Stampa in an interview published on Monday. “It was a lightning bolt. It must have been a lightning bolt.”
Missoni, 58, along with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, another couple who are close friends, and two crew members have been missing since Friday, according to Reuters.
The plane was travelling from a Venezuelan island to the city of Caracas, but disappeared somewhere over the course of the 42-minute journey.
Rada said the control tower contacted him about the plane disappearing shortly after he saw it enter the cloud. He tried to make contact with the pilot, but was unsuccessful.
The family of missing fashion executive Vittorio Missoni suggested that he and other passengers on a missing private plane could have been kidnapped.
Missoni’s family, which owns the iconic Italian fashion house, is holding out hope that he’s still alive and was potentially kidnapped by drug dealers along the route.
“We believe Vittorio, Maurizia, Elda and Guido are still alive!” Missoni’s sister Angela wrote on Twitter. “Please help us find them and bring them back home.”
Vittorio is the son of Missoni’s founder and runs the fashion house.
Missoni is an upscale brand known for its vibrant striped patterns. The fashion house had a highly successful collaboration with Target in 2011.
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