From farm boy to leading name in television
Roberto Andrés Bruce Pruzzo went from Chilean farm boy to one of the leading names in morning television news as a young adult. Born
on Jul. 30, 1979, in Talagante, 35 kilometers southeast of Santiago’s city center, he began studying journalism in the late 1990s at the Universidad Diego Portales in the capital’s university district of Barrio Republica.
After the century changed over, Bruce graduated and began his broadcasting career with Television Nacional de Chile, or TVN. From the start of that career, he contributed his reporting talent to the morning program “Buenos Días a Todos,” serving as a field and entertainment reporter. Anchor Felipe Camiroaga selected him to help cover the important story of the reconstruction effort on the remote Archipelago Juan Fernandez, clearly indicating his regard for Bruce, the younger broadcaster.
Earlier this year, Bruce became one of the leading personalities in a new program called “Dónde la viste” (“Where you see”), a comedy entertainment show in which he co-starred with Natalia Valdebenito, Sebastián Layseca and Natalie Nicloux. He was definitely a rising star on TVN when he boarded the CASA C-212 plane to Juan Fernandez on Friday.
Search Continues for Cause of Chile Plane Crash
Up to now only four of the bodies have been recovered and returned to their families, while the scattered human remains of others on the plane are being collected
SANTIAGO – The work of finding and identifying the remains of 17 of the 21 people killed when a Chilean military aircraft crashed continued Monday, while the armed forces defend the pilot’s competence and press on with the investigation into what caused the tragedy, though still without results.
Up to now only four of the bodies have been recovered and returned to their families, while the scattered human remains of others on the plane are being collected.
In order to identify them, the coroner’s office will take blood samples from family members of the victims still missing from the crash of the air force CASA C-212 that went down at sea last Friday near Robinson Crusoe Island, some 670 kilometers (416 miles) from the mainland.
Coroner’s office director Patricio Bustos said in Santiago that he will also ask the families for photos, X-rays, medical records, dental plaque and any other elements that might help them in their work.
On board the aircraft were 21 people including journalists from Television Nacional, notably popular show host Felipe Camiroaga, members of an organization aiding reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake, members of the National Council of Culture and the Arts and air force personnel.
Up to now only fragments of the aircraft have been found, including a wheel and a door, and efforts are being made to find the fuselage, since some of the bodies might still be inside.
The government believes it likely that the airplane disintegrated on impact and that all the occupants were killed instantly.
“It’s very probable we won’t have total success with this effort, but at least we should do everything humanly possible to achieve that goal,” President Sebastian Piñera said.
Joining the search for the remains of the accident is the clairvoyant Carmen Diez, traveling in one of the navy ships sent to the crash site.
Defense Minister Andres Allamand, who is currently on the island, said that the clairvoyant has given “coherent and plausible” information with regard to the technical data available for finding the victims.
Southwest of the island, where the CASA is believed to have gone down, the underwater search goes on, and if any remains are found, divers and a robot submarine will be called in to examine the depths of the ocean thoroughly.
Also taking part in the task are five navy vessels, boats equipped with sonar to sweep the coast and three military helicopters overflying the coastline. Fishermen from the island are also lending a hand.
Meanwhile the authorities have launched an investigation into the causes of the tragedy.
These aircraft carry no black boxes, so the investigation will be based on other elements, such as inspections of the parts of the crashed aircraft that have been found up to now, the prosecutor in charge of investigating aviation accidents, Sergio Sepulveda, told Radio Cooperativa.
Air force secretary-general Maximiliano Larraechea, for his part, defended the competence and experience of Lt. Carolina Fernandez, the 26-year-old officer who was piloting the plane. She had been in the service for eight years and logged more than 1,000 hours of flight time.
Larraechea, however, did not totally rule out human error among the causes of the tragedy.
“We’re talking about some mechanical failure, the effect of the wind, some pilot error, or a mixture of all of the above. But at the time the plane crashed, it had enough fuel,” Larraechea said.
The high-ranking official considered it improbable that the accident was due to the high winds or the lack of fuel, though he warned that there is little likelihood of finding out what happened for sure.
The tragedy has moved the nation, which on Monday observed the first of the two days of mourning decreed by the government.
Citizens have gone to show their grief at the Television Nacional studios, which on Monday during its morning program “Buenos Dias a Todos” (Good Day to Everyone), formerly hosted by Felipe Camiroaga, offered a heartfelt tribute to the victims.
“This is immense sorrow. What these people had in common was working disinterestedly for others, seeking the best for everyone in institutions so important for our society,” former President Michelle Bachelet, who governed Chile from 2006 to 2010, said on Television Nacional.
And about Camiroaga, the current executive director of the U.N. Women organizations said that he was “a just, transparent, honest, approachable man, who always sought dialogue to overcome differences, and was concerned about the causes of the humblest people.”
Buried on Sunday was one of the crash victims, journalist Roberto Bruce, while on Monday funerals were held in Santiago for TVN journalist Silvia Slier and National Council of Culture and the Arts official Galia Diaz, and in the northern city of Antofagasta the last rites for Cpl. Erwin Nuñez.
The crash was also a hard blow for the 630 inhabitants of Robinson Crusoe Island, the only inhabited land in the archipelago, where the victims were headed to aid with reconstruction work following the 2010 tsunami that swept this region.