Chilean military plane disappears with 38 on board

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A Chilean military plane disappeared with 38 people on board on Monday, said the Chilean Air Force in a statement.

More than seven hours after it lost contact, the Air Force declared that the plane was damaged.

The Hercules C130 aircraft took off at 4:55 p.m. (1955 GMT) en route from the southern city of Punta Arenas to the Chilean Air Force base in Antarctica.

The operators lost contact with it shortly after 6:00 p.m., according to the statement.

“On board the C130 Hercules are 38 people, of which 17 are crew members of the aircraft and 21 are passengers,” it said.

It said a rescue operation with aircraft and Chilean Navy vessels are underway.

The plane primarily carried out logistical support tasks and transferred personnel to the Antarctic base in order to inspect the base’s floating fuel supply pipeline and to carry out anti-corrosive treatment of the facility.