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Vittorio Missoni, Italian fashion mogul, missing near Venezuela

Airplane carrying head of Missoni fashion house goes missing off coast of Venezuela.

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From left, Angela, Ottavio, Rosita, Vittorio and Luca Missoni attend the Missoni fashion show during Milan fashion week on September 25, 2011, in Italy. (Pier Marco Tacca/AFP/Getty Images)

Specialized search equipment is now being used as Venezuelan authorities continue their search for a missing airplane that carried Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni.

Missoni, his wife, two friends and two crew members are missing after their airplane didn’t arrive as scheduled on Friday in Caracas after a holiday at Venezuela’s Los Roques resort, The Associated Press said.

Citing reports from the Italian news agency ANSA, the AP said search crews have dispatched a naval vessel to search the ocean.

The initial search on Friday yielded nothing.

“We have no other news,” Missoni representative Paolo Marchetti said, according to the AP.

The 58-year-old Missoni, brother Luca and sister Angela lead the Missoni fashion house.

Luca has flown to Venezuela to gather more information, according to AFP.

The Missoni brand is celebrating 60 years this year, having been founded in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni with his wife, Rosita.

The couple is still involved, but leaves the day-to-day operations to their children.

Los Roques is an archipelago of 350 islands renowned among tourists and scuba divers for turquoise waters and exotic species.

The fashion house is worth nearly $80 million, The Telegraph reported.

Exactly five years ago to the day, another airplane went missing in the same location.

The craft, with 14 people on board – including eight Italians – was never found.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/130105/vittorio-missoni-italy-fashion-mogul-missing-venezuela