CHILE – The Chilean air force has found the wreckage of the military transport plane that disappeared en route to Antarctica and recovered human remains from some of the 38 people who were on board. Read here
There were no survivors, Arturo Merino, the head of Chile’s air force, told reporters.
“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.
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).
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