Chilean military plane carrying 38 people disappears

10 December 2019, 08:31

The Chilean military plane disappeared on Monday evening
The Chilean military plane disappeared on Monday evening (file photo). Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A military transport plane carrying 38 people has disappeared during its journey from Chile to America.

The plane had 17 crew members and 21 passengers on board when it took off from Punta Arenas in south Chile

450 miles into the 770 mile journey, crews on the ground lost radio contact.

Chile's air force said the military had declared an alert and activated search and rescue teams.

General Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Brigade told local media the plane, a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, would have been around halfway to the Antarctic base when contact was lost, and no emergency signals were activated.

He said that a search was underway and a ship was in the area where the plane should have been when contact was lost.

General Mosqueira said the pilot, who had extensive experience, may have been forced to land after running out of fuel.

The plane was heading to the US to check a floating fuel supply line at the Chilean base and should have returned on Monday night.

President Sebastián Piñera took to twitter to say he was "dismayed" by the loss, and that the situation was being monitored in Chile.