c130 plane aircraft chile chilean taken from website 101219 CREDIT CHILEAN AIR FORCE
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British Forces Support Search For Missing Chilean Military Plane

The C-130 Hercules aircraft was carrying 38 people on a flight to Antarctica.

c130 plane aircraft chile chilean taken from website 101219 CREDIT CHILEAN AIR FORCE

A British military team based in the Falkland Islands is providing assistance in the search for a missing Chilean transport plane.

The C-130 Hercules military aircraft was transporting 17 crew members and 21 passengers from Punta Arenas in southern Chile to Antarctica when radio contact was lost on Monday evening at 18:13 local time (15:15 GMT). 

The Ministry of Defence is deploying a liaison team from Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands to Punta Arenas, to join a team from British Forces South Atlantic (BFSAI).

The liaison team will support the Chilean authorities in co-ordinating the international search effort.

Additional British air and naval assets are also on standby to join the search. 

The Chilean Air Force said that after more than seven hours since losing radio contact, the aircraft was declared crashed.

It also published a map indicating the plane's last known location.

Those on board were on their way to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at a Chilean base in the area.

General Eduardo Mosqueira of the Fourth Air Brigade told local media that a search was underway.

General Mosqueira said the aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact, adding that no emergency signals had been activated.

He said the plane had been scheduled to return on Monday night and that the pilot had extensive experience. 

Cover image: Library image of a C-130 Chilean aircraft (Picture: Chilean Air Force).