Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules Aircraft, With 38 People Aboard, Presumed Crashed En Route to Antarctica

A Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft, with 8 people aboard, is presumed to have crashed on its way to Antarctica after going missing, Monday night.

The aircraft had departed from the Chilean capital of Santiago and stopped briefly in the city of Punta Arenas near the country’s southern tip before flying to the President Eduardo Frei Montalva Antarctic Air Base. The four-engine aircraft lost radio contact around 6 p.m. local time near the Drake Passage, the body of water between the tip of South America and Antarctica.

The aircraft’s last known position was about 390 nautical miles from Punta Arenas and 280 nautical miles from the Antarctic base, according to a statement from the Air Force.

There were 17 crew members and 21 other passengers on board, who were on their way to perform “logistical support tasks” such as repairing the floating oil pipeline that provides fuel for the base, said the Air Force. In addition to crew members, the plane was also carrying personnel from the Chilean Armed Forces, an engineering firm, and the University of Magallanes.

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