Published: Tue, December 10, 2019

Chilean military plane 'disappears' with 38 aboard

Chilean military plane 'disappears' with 38 aboard

A Chilean air force C-130 Hercules that was bound for Antarctica and carrying 38 on board lost radio contact with the country's control center Monday evening, a statement from the military said.

Of the 38 people on board the plane, 17 were crew members and 21 were passengers.

After the plane lost contact, the Air Force declared a state of alert and mobilized a search and rescue team, activating Air Force resources in Santiago and the Magallanes region in southern Chile.

It primarily carried out logistical support tasks and transferred personnel to the Antarctic base in order to inspect the base's floating fuel supply pipeline and to carry out anticorrosive treatment of the facility.

President Sebastián Piñera tweeted that he was with his defence and interior ministers at the air force headquarters monitoring developments.

Drake's Passage, where the plane was missing, is infamous for severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and ferocious storms.

Two F-16 fighter jets and four ships have been dispatched to assist with search efforts. No emergency signals had been activated, he said.

He said the plane, whose pilot had extensive experience, had been scheduled to return Monday night.

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