Chile military plane carrying 38 people disappears en-route to Antarctica

Clay Curtis
December 10, 2019

The Chilean Air Force reported on Monday the disappearance of one of its cargo planes that was headed to a base in Antarctica with 38 people on board.

Radio contact was lost with the plane on Monday evening as it flew to a military base. Contact was lost at 6:13 p.m., the initial announcement said.

Chile's air force has declared an alert and sent out search and rescue teams.

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.

It was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers.

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Air Force General Eduardo Mosqueira told local media that the plane did not give any distress signals before disappearing.

The plane took off at 4.55pm from the southern city of Punta Arenas, which is more than 3,000km (1,860 miles) from the capital of Santiago.

The Drake Passage is body of water connecting the South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans, and is known for treacherous weather conditions.

President Sebastian Piñera said authorities were monitoring search and rescue efforts.

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

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