The search for the Chilean Air Force (FACH) aircraft that disappeared on Monday with 38 people on board when it was heading to Antarctica continued on Wednesday without giving positive results, authorities announced.
About 15 airplanes and five ships of different sizes were participating in the search operation for the Hercules C-130, said Wednesday at a press conference, the commander in chief of the IV air brigade, Eduardo Mosqueira.
“All FACH and the Armed Forces are placing all our support and effort to find the missing C-130,” he told reporters at the Chabunco air base in the city of Punta Arenas, about three thousand kilometers south of Santiago.
The military plane, with 38 people on board – 21 passengers and 17 crew members – took off at 4:55 p.m. (7:55 p.m. GMT) on Monday from Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of Chile, heading to Eduardo Frei base in Antarctica, and “lost radial communication”at 18H13 (21H13 GMT), according to FACH.
The aircraft was declared “damaged” after seven hours of the incident.
“We still don’t have any new antecedents, but we are making every possible effort to be able to find the whereabouts of the plane,” official spokeswoman Karla Rubilar said in a radio interview on Wednesday.
The search work was extended to a larger area during this day, in which ” the conditions are to operate in a good way,” Mosqueira added.
The mission of the aircraft was to carry out logistical support tasks at the Eduardo Frei base, the largest in Chile in Antarctica, for the review of the base’s fuel supply floating pipeline and to perform anti-corrosive treatment of the facilities.