Chilean Air Force plane carrying 38 people missing, presumed crashed
(ABC News) – The Chilean Air Force announced Monday evening that a C-130 Hercules aircraft has gone missing after taking off from an air base in Puntas Arenas, Chile. The C-130 was bound for the Eduardo Frei Montalva air base in Antarctica.
The Chilean Air Force said that the plane went missing at 6:13 p.m. local time and it is now presumed “wrecked.” According to a release, officials continue their search operations where the plane lost contact in the hopes of rescuing survivors.
However, an official with the Chilean Air Force said they were considering the flight lost at sea. With the frigid waters, he said there was little hope anyone survived.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera tweeted that he was en route to Cerrillos to monitor the situation with the country’s defense minister.
There were 38 people on board the Chilean Air Force plane — 17 crew members and 21 passengers. Most of those on board were from the Air Force, but two private contractors and a university student were also on the flight, the official said.
The plane was on a logistical support mission, with the crew set to revise a floating fuel supply pipeline and work on anticorrosive work on different national facilities on the base.
The C-130 took off at 4:55 p.m. local time. The flight generally takes about three hours.