Fuerza Aerea de Chile C-130 gettyimages

A Chilean Air Force C-130 has gone missing en route to Antarctica. The aircraft was carrying 17 crew and 21 passengers.

Radio contact was lost at 18h13 local time. After a brief stop at the town of Punta Arenas from Santiago the flight departed at 16h55 heading for the Chilean Antarctic base, General Eduardo Frei Montalva on King George Island. The aircraft would have been about halfway to the base at the time contact was lost, said General Eduardo Mosqueira of the Chilean Fourth Air Brigade. This would place it within the Drake Passage, an area notorious for foul weather although conditions were reported good at the time. No distress signal has been received. The aircraft would have exhausted its fuel at 00h40.

Fight plan of missing Chilean C-130

President Sebastian Pinera said that he was ‘dismayed’ by the loss and was monitoring the situation with his defence and interior ministers. The air force has declared an alert and dispatched a search and rescue team.

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