Riots in Chile leave at least three dead, state of emergency declared

Santiago and other Chilean cities have been engulfed by several days of rioting as protests continue over an increase in public transportation costs.

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By Reuters

SANTIAGO — At least three people died after a supermarket in the Chilean capital Santiago was set alight by demonstrators, while many flights into the city's airport were suspended as crew were unable to get to work, the city's governor said on Sunday.

Santiago and other Chilean cities have been engulfed by several days of rioting as protests over an increase in public transportation costs prompted President Sebastian Pinera to declare a state of emergency.

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Santiago governor Karla Rubilar confirmed that three people died in a supermarket in the capital that was set on fire by demonstrators on Saturday.

A bus burns in downtown Santiago following a mass fare-dodging protest in Chile on Oct. 18, 2019.Claudio Reyes / AFP - Getty Images

"We regret to inform that according to preliminary information from Chilean police two people were found fatally burned in San Bernardo and a seriously injured person was moved to hospital where they died," she said in a tweet on Sunday. She did not name the supermarket.

Flights operated by Chile's biggest airlines LATAM and another, Sky Airline, were suspended or delayed on Sunday morning after a curfew, a public transportation shutdown and continued rioting left flight crews struggling to get to work, Rubilar said.

Crowds of affected passengers were left stranded at the airport as a result.

LATAM Chile tweeted that due to the public order situation its flights into and out of Santiago were being affected. "We will continue to adjust our itineraries of flights into and out of Santiago on October 20 and 21," the tweet said, adding that passengers should check their flights before going to the airport.

Walmart Chile confirmed that it would close its stores across the country after 60 were damaged in the unrest in Santiago and its surroundings, Valparaíso, Antofagasta, Calama, Concepción, San Antonio and Temuco.