Brazil presidential candidate Campos dies in plane crash: TV

Former governor of Pernambuco state and Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sao Paulo in this April 17, 2014 file photo.

Former governor of Pernambuco state and Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sao Paulo in this April 17, 2014 file photo.

SAO PAULO — Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, local television channel GloboNews reported, throwing the country’s October election into disarray and knocking local financial markets lower.

Campos’ private jet crashed in bad weather in the coastal city of Santos, just south of Sao Paulo, as it was preparing to land. Television images showed smoke billowing from the crash site in a residential area.

GloboNews said Campos, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) leader who was running third in opinion polls, died in the crash, without citing a source. A source in the PSB confirmed Campos was on the plane, but Reuters was not able to immediately confirm his death.

Five people were rushed to a local hospital from the crash site, but a hospital official could not provide any names or information on their condition. GloboNews said seven people were on board the plane.

Campos, 49, had the support of about 10 percent of voters in recent polls. His death, if confirmed, will likely lead the two other leading candidates, President Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves, to pause their presidential campaigns for a period of mourning just as the run-up to the Oct. 5 election was starting to capture the public’s full attention.

Campos, a former governor of northeastern Pernambuco state, was running as a business-friendly leftist and had strong support from many banks and industrial groups. His death could see Marina Silva, his running mate, become the Brazilian Socialist Party’s candidate.

 
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