Italy sending naval and flight experts to Venezuela to help search for missing Missoni plane


In this photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of the Interior and Justice Press Office, Italy's ambassador to Venezuela Paolo Serpi, left, speaks with rescue team members prior to their continued search for a missing plane off Los Roques, Venezuela, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. The search for a missing plane carrying Italian fashion executive Vittorio Missoni and five other people has entered its fourth straight day on Monday with no signs of the aircraft. The small, twin-engine plane was reported missing hours after taking off Friday from Los Roques, a string of islands and islets popular among tourists for their white beaches and coral reefs. (AP Photo/Venezuela Ministry Interior and Justice Office Press)The Associated Press

Italy is sending a specialized team to Venezuela to help search for a small plane that disappeared there last week while carrying the CEO of the Italian fashion firm Missoni.

Among the four Italian tourists on the flight that never made it from the island resort of Los Roques to Caracas on Jan. 4 is Vittorio Missoni, CEO of his family's fashion company.

Italian Foreign Ministry officials said the Civil Protection team will leave Wednesday to lend assistance. They also quoted Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi as praising Venezuela's "massive effort" in the search operations.

The Italian team includes a naval expert, two fire department search-and-rescue experts and a member of Italy's national flight safety agency.