A search for survivors was underway on Tuesday, December 10, after a Chilean Air Force plane carrying 38 people went missing on Monday while en route to Antarctica, officials said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Chilean Air Force said the C-130 Hercules aircraft departed Chabunco Air Base in Punta Arenas at 4.55 pm, and contact with the plane was lost at 6.13 pm. The flight was bound for Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva on Antarctica’s King George Island with 17 crew and 21 passengers aboard, Chilean officials said.
Seven hours after losing contact, the Chilean Air Force declared the plane to be damaged and said a search for survivors was ongoing.
The Chilean Navy shared this footage on Tuesday from one of its patrol vessels, Marinero Fuentealba, saying it was supporting the air force in search-and-rescue efforts. Two frigates were also being deployed, the navy said.
An official passenger list showed that 32 members of the Chilean Air Force, three members of the army, one university student, and two others were on the flight.
The University of Magallanes (UMAG) expressed concern for the student, named as 24-year-old Ignacio Parada Gálvez, who it said was on the flight to carry out research in Antarctica.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said on Tuesday that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had offered to help in the search. Piñera also said he had canceled his trip to Argentina to meet the country’s newly elected president, Alberto Fernandez. Credit: Armada de Chile via Storyful