Chilean military plane with 38 on board disappears en route to Antarctica

Relatives of passengers of a missing military plane arrive in a Chilean military airplane to an airbase in Punta Arenas Chile Wednesday Dec. 11 2019

The Hercules C130 aircraft took off at 4:55 p.m. (1955 GMT) on Monday from the southern city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia and was heading to a base in Antarctica, but operators lost contact with the plane shortly after 6:00 p.m.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile and with the families of the missing as we join other regional partners supporting Chile's ongoing search for the C-130, its crew and their passengers", SOUTHCOM commander US Navy Adm. Craig Faller said in a press release.

A Brazilian ship in the area equipped with radar instruments will now scan 10,499ft (3,200m) underwater at the site to try and find the rest of the wreckage.

The plane went missing over the Drake Passage, the turbulent stretch of water that separates the southern tip of South America from Antarctica. Thus, at the time of publication of the message of the Chilean air force fuel the plane ran out.

According to a statement made by Chilean Air Force Gen. Eduardo Mosqueira, the C-130 did not activate a distress beacon at any point during the flight. Soon after his disappearance, the representative military-air forces of the country reported that the C-130 was sufficient fuel to continue flying for several more hours. The Air Force said two ships, more than a dozen planes and three satellites were being used in the search.

He said the recovered pieces of wreckage would reach Punta Arenas "tomorrow or in the next few days".

"The parts of the plane and the objects were found approximately 280 nautical miles (518 kilometers) from Ushuaia in Argentina", Bolsonaro said.

Relatives of people aboard the missing aircraft arrive at the Chabunco air base in Chile, Dec. 11, 2019.

Search vessels and planes from the United States, Uruguay and Argentina were also combing almost 385 square miles around the plane's last known position in the Drake Passage lying south of Cape Horn and north of Antarctica.

Pope Francis is reportedly closely following the news of the crash, the Vatican Secretary of State said Wednesday.



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