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.