Santiago (Web Desk): Chile's air force lost radio contact with a transport plane carrying 38 people on a flight on Monday evening to the country's base in Antarctica.
The C-130 Hercules carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers, including three civilians. The personnel were to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base.
The military said earlier that it had declared an alert and activated search and rescue teams.
In a statement on Tuesday, the air force said the plane had not been heard from in more than seven hours and likely would have run out of fuel around 12:40 am.
The air force “continues the search in the sector where communication with the aircraft was lost, in order to rescue potential survivors,” the statement said.
The plane took off at 4:53 pm from the southern city of Punta Arenas, which is more than 3,000 kilometres from the capital of Santiago. Contact was lost at 6:13 pm, the initial announcement said.
President Sebastin Piera said via Twitter that he was with his defense and interior ministers at the air force headquarters monitoring developments.