A foiled multimillion-dollar heist at Chile’s largest airport has left two dead, officials said Wednesday.
Footage widely shared on social media shows a shootout between robbers and officials from Chile’s DGAC aviation agency at the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago.
Chief prosecutor Eduardo Baeza said Wednesday the “assault” resulted in the deaths of a DGAC airport security official and one of the robbers. It happened at approximately 7:50 am local time (5:50 am ET).
“(The attempted robbery) is still under investigation,” Baeza added.
Officials said around 10 people broke into the airport in three or four trucks, targeting an armored vehicle carrying a “valued load” from a LATAM Airlines plane.
The plane, which had arrived from Miami, was carrying $32.5 million to be transported locally by security provider Brinks.
Speaking to reporters from the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, deputy interior minister Manuel Monsalve said security officials had “foiled a robbery by a highly organized, highly armed and probably very well-planned robbery.”
Raul Jorquera, general director of the DGAC, told reporters that no passengers were at risk during the encounter, and that the robbers had “high capacity firepower” to steal the money.
Organized crime in Chile has spiked in recent years, including elaborate train heists and multimillion-dollar robberies at the country’s main seaport.