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Thursday, March 23, 2023

$32 Million Heist Leaves Two Dead in Gunfight Between Raiders and Security Personnel

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An attempted robbery of $32 million resulted in the deaths of a security guard and an armed attacker after a gunfight at Santiago de Chile Airport on Wednesday morning, according to local media and authorities.

The Arturo Merino Bentez International Airport’s perimeter was breached by a group of highly armed gangs, but they were stopped by armed guards, sparking a fierce gunfight on the tarmac just outside the main building.

The thieves had their sights set on a LATAM-operated plane that had just landed in Santiago after a nighttime trip from Miami, Florida.

A load of about $32 million in cash was on board the aircraft and was being transferred to a Brinks-operated guarded van.

A heated gunfight between the criminals and security guards was captured on video by airport employees and posted on social media. One security guard’s death has been confirmed by local authorities.

The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics released a statement in which it expressed sympathy for the death of Claudio Villar Rodriguez, an airport security guard who was shot and killed by the criminals.

“The actions of the officials at our institution managed to prevent this criminal act but unfortunately, with the high cost of the life of one our own,” the statement read.

“The DGAC has reinforced the security mechanisms and had provided our aviation security officials with equipment and training which made it possible to repel this robbery attempt,” the statement continued.

However, a representative for the airline based in Atlanta claimed that after a thorough inspection, no damage had been discovered. The aircraft will continue to be used as a result. Both Delta employees and customers had no known injuries.

In a statement, the airline said: “Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those impacted by today’s sad events… Delta will work closely with all aviation stakeholders as these events are investigated.”

One of the criminals was apparently also killed in the gunfire along with the security personnel. After setting a number of automobiles on fire on the main airport road, the remaining suspects were able to leave the airport.

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