Eduardo Campos, candidate for the Brazilian presidency, died on Wednesday morning in a plane crash in Santos, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
The plane in which Campos was traveling crashed over several houses in a residential neighborhood in Santos. According to the Brazilian Air Force, the plane crashed as it was preparing to land, and the accident may have happened due to bad weather. There were seven occupants in the plane and there were no survivors.
Campos' plane had left Rio and was heading to Santos, where several campaign events were scheduled. Earlier in the day, there were reports that Campos' wife and one of his sons were in the plane, but that was later denied. The candidate's family is reportedly in their home in Recife, Pernambuco state, and has yet to give any statements.
Campos' VP candidate Marina Silva was not in the plane. Neither Silva nor Campos' party PSD released any official statement, but several politicians, including Luciana Genro, who is also running for presidency, used Twitter to express their condolences. Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer released in early afternoon a statement, expressing his shock over the accident.
"There are no words to describe the tragedy which fell over the Brazilian politics. Eduardo Campos was a politician of principles and values inherited from his family and carried out with dignity and honor through his entire trajectory," he said.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and presidential candidate Aecio Neves, who rank first and second in the election polls, canceled all political commitments for the day.
Campos, 49, was married and had five children. Before running for presidency, he had served as governor of his native state Pernambuco, as Science and Technology Minister in the administration of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and as state and federal representative. He was consistently ranking third in all polls.
Campos was from a traditional political family in Brazil - his maternal grandfather Miguel Arraes was an icon of the left-wing in Brazil and also served as Pernambuco governor. In a bizarre coincidence, Arraes died on the same date as his grandson, Aug. 13, 2005. His mother, Ana Arraes, is a minister at the Federal Accounts Court. RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua)