Huntingdon directors missing after Brazil plane crash

FEARS are growing for two directors of a Huntingdon company whose plane disappeared over the Brazilian jungle. Alan Kempson, 46, and Nigel Hodges, 52, are senior figures in finance company Diamond Lifestyle Ltd, which is based at Hinchingbrooke Business

FEARS are growing for two directors of a Huntingdon company whose plane disappeared over the Brazilian jungle.

Alan Kempson, 46, and Nigel Hodges, 52, are senior figures in finance company Diamond Lifestyle Ltd, which is based at Hinchingbrooke Business Park.

The duo were among four British businessmen on board a light aircraft operated by the Aero Star charter firm which vanished on Friday. Two pilots were also on board.

The other British men on the plane, Sean Woodhall, 43, and Ricky Every, 41, work for Worldwide Destinations, which has a UK office on the Colmworth Business Park in St Neots.

It is believed Mr Kempson and Mr Hodges had been visiting a possible investment opportunity with Worldwide Destinations in Brazil.

Paul Hughes, non-executive director of Diamond Lifestyle, said: "All we know is that the plane is missing. I am very worried and my thoughts are with their wives and families."

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The twin-engine Cessna 310 plane took off from Salvador on Brazil's eastern coast, heading south to the coastal resort of Ilheus, 134 miles away. The plane made its final contact with air traffic control at 1743 local time (2143 BST) on Friday.

Rescue teams have been scouring the landscape in an area 20 miles north of Ilheus, where an eyewitness saw a plane flying unusually low.

Reports suggest the men had originally been planning to make the journey by helicopter but switched to a plane due to adverse weather conditions.

Mr Kempson has lived in Brampton and Alconbury with his second wife Sandra for a number of years and is a friend of former Huntingdon MP and Prime Minister Sir John Major. The couple also have a villa in Marbella, Spain.

His parents Roland and Kathleen, and his first wife Susan, live in Hardwick. Mr Kempson said he has not told his wife, who has Parkinson's, of the disappearance of their son because he fears for her health.

Diamond Lifestyle has recently run into financial difficulties and reports suggest the firm, which ceased trading on the stock exchange at its own request last week, has been struggling to pay staff wages.

Mr Hodges, who lives in Somerset, is finance director and company secretary of Diamond Lifestyle.

Mr Every is understood to live in Brazil while Mr Woodhall, who lives in Switzerland, received an 18-month suspended jail sentence for a £250,000 fraud in 2001.

Family members of all the missing men were preparing to fly out to Brazil as The Hunts Post went to press.

Visit www.huntspost24.co.uk for the latest updates of the search for the plane.

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