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Article posted by: White Nation correspindent Tennessee USA    December 15 2019



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military plane with 38 people on board has disappeared en route to Antarctica, Chile’s air force says. The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft took off from Punta Arenas at 16:55 local time (19:55 GMT), and operators lost contact at 18:13 (21:13).

Those missing include 17 crew and 21 passengers. They were travelling to provide logistical support to a military base on Antarctica’s King George Island. A search-and-rescue mission is under way.

What do we know of the disappearance?

Air Force Gen Eduardo Mosqueira told local media that the plane did not activate any distress signal. He said the plane, whose pilot had extensive experience, might have been forced to touch down on water. An air force statement said that the plane was about 450 miles (725km) into its 770-mile journey when contact was lost, placing it within the Drake Passage. The air force published a map of the plane’s last known location on Twitter:

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The Drake Passage is a body of water connecting the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans, and is known for treacherous weather conditions. But Chile’s air force said local weather was good at the time of the plane’s disappearance. It also said that the plane would have had enough fuel to keep airborne until 00:40.

Who was on board?

Three of the passengers were Chilean soldiers; two were civilians employed by engineering and construction firm Inproser, who were going to carry out work on the military base; one was a student at Magellanes University; and the remaining 15 passengers were members of the air force, an official said.

A relative of a person who was flying aboard the Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane that went missing in the sea between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica on December 9, 2019 gestures at the Cerrillos base in Santiago, on December 10, 2019.
Relatives of people aboard the Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane that went missing embrace at the Cerrillos base in Santiago
Relatives of those on board have been arriving at Cerrillos air base in Santiago

The C-130 is also staffed by 17 crew members. The Air Force has published a list of all those on board.

What of the rescue effort?

Air Force Gen Francisco Torres said that the search for the plane had “begun immediately” after it had failed to arrive at the military base in Antarctica. Four ships and 10 planes from Chile are taking part in the search operation. Uruguay and Argentina have also each sent a plane to help locate the missing C-130. An initial overflight of the area where communication was lost failed to yield any sign of the missing plane. Rescuers are currently searching inside a 60-mile radius from the last point of contact.

What has been the reaction?

President Sebastián Piñera said in a tweet that he was “dismayed by the loss”. He cancelled his planned trip to Argentina to attend the swearing-in of President-elect Alberto Fernández and instead went to Cerrillos Air Base in the capital, Santiago, to monitor the search, along with Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel. Chile’s Defence Minister Alberto Espina has travelled to Punta Arenas. Chile claims more than 1.2m sq km (463,000 sq miles) of Antarctic territory and operates nine bases there.

Rescue workers in Chile have found human remains after an air force plane with 38 people on board went missing on Monday. There were no survivors, said Chilean Air Force head Arturo Merino. Magallanes Governor José Fernández said relatives of those missing had been informed of the find. Earlier, Chile’s air force said that wreckage had been found floating in the area where the C-130 Hercules cargo plane had last made contact. It was en route to a military base in the Antarctic.

What has been found?

Mr Merino said the human remains “are most likely to be body parts of those travelling on the C-130″.The condition of the remains we discovered make it practically impossible that anyone could have survived the plane accident,” he added. Earlier, Governor Fernández said a wheel from the plane, part of the landing gear and the fuselage had been recovered, and that more pieces were floating in the sea. The wreckage was located 30km from the plane’s last-known position. Air Force Commander Eduardo Mosqueira said the air force would carry out “corresponding checks” to determine whether the wreckage was from the missing plane. He also said that personal items suspected to have come from those on board the plane had been found. A Brazilian navy ship sent to aid with the search efforts also located some debris. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted that “polar ship Almirante Maximiano of the Brazilian navy collected, at about 15:45, personal items and wreckage matching that of the Hercules C-130 of the Chilean air force”.

What is known about its route?

The plane was en route from Chile’s southern city of Punta Arenas to the country’s Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva base in the Antarctic. Contact with the plane was lost at 18:13 local time (21:13 GMT) on Monday, shortly after the C-130 took off from Punta Arenas. The Chilean air force released a map of the plane’s flight path and a timeline showing it had been due to land at 19:17 on Monday at Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva.

A handout photo made available by Chilean Air Force on 10 December 2019 shows a map with the last know position of a Chilean Air Force C-130 military plane

A massive air and sea search was launched soon after the plane went missing. Argentina, Brazil, the UK and Uruguay have sent planes to help with the search in the icy waters, while the US and Israel have been providing satellite images.

Picture taken on 12 January, 2019 at Chile's Presidente Eduardo Frei base, in Antarctica, showing a Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane

The C-130 is used to transport people and goods to the base in Antarctica

Ignacio Parada had been studying civil chemical engineering at Magallanes University and was heading to the Antarctic base for an internship. His professors described the 24-year-old as “an excellent student“. He was particularly interested in renewable energy, he had said recently. Inproser employees Leonel Cabrera and Jacob Pizarro were going to carry out work on the military base. The three soldiers who boarded the Hercules plane on Monday were Col Christian Astorquiza, Lt Col Oscar Saavedra and Maj Gen Daniel Ortiz. There was only one woman on board: 37-year-old geographer Claudia Manzo joined the air force in 2008 and was passionate about remote sensing – obtaining information about areas from a distance by aircraft or satellites. Also among those travelling to the base were two brothers, Luis and Jeremías Mancilla. Jeremías, 27, had been hired by the air force to carry out work on the electrical circuits on the base. His older brother Luis was sergeant in the air force.

A handout photo made available by the Chilean air force shows the last known position of the Hercules C-130 plane and the position where wreckage was discovered.


The condition of the remains we discovered make it practically impossible that anyone could have survived the airplane accident,” Merino said. “I feel immense pain for this loss of lives.” The aircraft, which was heading to a base in Antarctica on a regular flight, disappeared shortly after taking off late on Monday from the southern city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. It carried 21 passengers and 17 crew members.

Part of the landing gear found in the Drake Sea believed to belong to the Hercules C-130 aircraft that crashed on 9 December.
 Part of the landing gear found in the Drake Sea believed to belong to the Hercules C-130 aircraft that crashed on 9 December.
Beside the Chilean Air Force, aircraft from Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom and Uruguay are involved in the search. Also, two Chilean Navy frigates are searching in the area where the aircraft was last observed by radar. They were aided by a team of satellite imagery analysts from the Israeli Defence Force’s Unit 9900. The search effort was being hampered by rough seas and poor visibility. One day into the search, debris from an aircraft was found floating in the sea some 19 miles (31 km) from the last known position of the missing aircraft. Debris and personal items were recovered by Brazilian Navy polar research ship Almirante Maximiano The crash site was located off the coast of South America on 12 December, 17 mi (27 km) from the C-130’s last known position. The aircraft fuselage and main components were identified along with human remains. Chilean Air Force chief Arturo Merino confirmed that everyone on board was killed.

Within several hours, the air force declared the plane a loss, but extreme weather conditions, including low clouds, strong winds and massive, rolling ocean swells initially complicated search efforts. The first pieces of debris from the plane were discovered by Chilean air force officials late on Wednesday. A Brazilian ship sailing in the region also found pieces of the plane. The air force’s Merino said authorities would immediately conduct forensic analyses on the remains to confirm their origin. The plane crashed over the Drake Sea, a vast untouched ocean wilderness off the southernmost edge of the South American continent that plunges to 3,500 meters (11,500ft).

Crew of doomed Chile military plane said they were suffering ‘an electrical failure’ shortly before the aircraft crashed en route to Antarctica

Human remains were also found and Jose Fernandez, the Intendant of the Chilean region of Magallanes told local media: ‘In the afternoon, the Air Force informed us of some news that shocked us; the finding of bodies in the Drake Passage and also part of the fuselage belonging to the missing plane.‘ Around 15 planes and five boats from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and the United States are participating in the search and rescue operation. Twenty-one passengers and 17 crew were on board the plane headed to the Eduardo Frei base across the Drake Passage in the Antarctic. Most were air force personnel, but also aboard were three people from the army, two from a private construction company and an official from a Chilean university. Many of them were travelling to carry out logistical support tasks at the base, Chile’s largest in the Antarctic. President Sebastian Pinera expressed his condolences on Twitter and said his government would do ‘everything possible to find answers to this tragedy.’ Chilean officials say they found plane wreckage and human remains. Relatives of victims of the Chilean Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane, that went missing with 38 people aboard, arrive to the Legal Medical Service (SML) in Punta Arenas, Chile on Thursday. Chile’s Air Force said debris was found earlier this week by a private plane assisting in searches. A piece of ‘sponge’ material believed to be cladding from the fuel tank of a missing Chilean C-130 military transport plane has been found floating in the ocean. Officials said the debris was located in a 12-square-mile area in the Drake Passage, where some 23 aircraft and 14 ships have been concentrating the search effort.

Pieces of fabric ripped from the interior wall of the C-130 after they were recovered from the sea yesterday








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