ICCA CEO Martin Sirk has issued a statement following confirmation that eight members of the International Congress & Convention Association were onboard a small plane which crashed on Thursday, March 19.

“We send our deepest condolences, and express our shock and sadness at the tragic deaths of executives and Board members from La Rural, the venue for this year’s ICCA Congress, our friend Carlos de Elias, owner of Congress Rental SA and President of Buenos Aires CVB, and other industry executives.

“A small plane carrying the eight individuals named below and two pilots crashed shortly after take-off on the night of Thursday 19 March near Punta del Este in Uruguay, with no survivors.

“We join our Argentinian ICCA colleagues in mourning this great loss, on behalf of the ICCA Board, staff and members all around the world, and will remember them when we meet together in Buenos Aires this November.”

Those who died were: Marcelo Zarco (48), Operations Director, La Rural Horacio Peñaflor (48), Trade Show Services Manager, La Rural Alfredo Dietrich (51), La Rural Joanna Mc Cormack (41), La Rural Gustavo Pera (57), La Rural Carlos de Elías (55), Congress Rental SA and President of Buenos Aires CVB Mario Barba (41), Connectis ICT Services SA Marta Pires Vieira (40), Dorier Group LatAm