Military plane from Chile 'disappears' with 38 people on board

Ellena Cruse
Communication was lost with the plane halfway through a flight from Chile to Antarctica: Getty Images

A military transport plane carrying 38 people has disappeared en route to Antarctica.

The C-130 Hercules was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers from Punta Arenas in south Chile when radio contact was lost on Monday evening.

Chile’s air force said the military had declared an alert and activated search and rescue teams.

The personnel were flying to check on a floating fuel supply line and other equipment at the Chilean base.

Emergency signals have not been activated (AFP via Getty Images)

General Eduardo Mosqueira, of the Fourth Air Brigade, told local media that a search was underway and a ship was in the area where the plane should have been when contact was lost.

Mr Mosqueira said the aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact.

No emergency signals had been activated, he said.

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