(GUARDIAN) — The as-yet-unexplained disappearance last Friday of the plane carrying six passengers and crew, including Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni, has prompted some to blame the “Los Roques curse”.

The label has been attached to a series of mysterious plane crashes and “vanishings” over the past decade or so between the Caribbean archipelago of Los Roques and the Venezuelan capital Caracas, 140km to the south. Inevitably, comparisons have been made with the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the area between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico that has long had a reputation for unexplained disappearances of ships and planes.

To date, no wreckage of Missoni’s plane has been located since it took off from Los Roques for Caracas. A hotel owner on the islands said he last saw the plane – a twin-engine BN-2 Islander built in 1968 – entering a bank of clouds. Meanwhile, the Missoni family said it was not ruling out the possibility that the plane had been hijacked by local drug smugglers. Venezuela’s civil aviation authority said the aircraft’s last recorded position was 18km south of the Los Roques.

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