Chile military plane disappears with 38 people on board
December 10, 2019 | 4:25 PM
by DW
Photo Supplied

Chile's air force on Tuesday said a military plane that disappeared with 38 people on board while flying to a base in Antarctica had not been heard of for hours.

The cargo plane, identified as a Hercules C130, departed from the southern city of Punta Arenas at 4:55 p.m. local time (1955 GMT). Operators lost contact with the aircraft a little over an hour later.

The air force "continues the search in the sector where communication with the aircraft was lost, in order to rescue potential survivors," a statement said.

President Sebastian Pinera said he and Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel would fly to Punta Arenas where they would meet up with Defense Minister Alberto Espina to monitor a search and rescue mission to locate the missing plane and its passengers.

The air force posted a map on Twitter showing the approximate location of the plane before it went missing.

No emergency signals had been activated on the plane when operators lost contact, General Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Brigade told reporters.

He added that the the aircraft would have been almost halfway to the base when it went missing and that the pilot had extensive experience.

The personnel on board were flying to the Antarctic base Presidente Frei to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean facility.

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