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Chile military plane, 38 on board, missing on way to Antarctica

The C-130 Hercules carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
File image -- C-130 Hercules

Chile's air force says it lost radio contact with a transport plane carrying 38 people on a flight to the country's base in Antarctica. It says the military has declared an alert and activated a search and rescue team. Authorities are indicating they are not optimistic about the aircraft's fate.

The C-130 Hercules carried 17 crew members and 21 passengers including three civilians. The personnel were to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base.

The air force says the plane took off at 4:55 p.m. from the southern city of Punta Arenas and radio contact was lost at 6:13 p.m. It says weather was good at the time.

In a statement early Tuesday, the air force said the plane had not been heard from in more than seven hours and likely would have run out of fuel around 12:40 a.m.

TEGNA Staff contributed to this report.