Chilean Air Force plane to Antarctica crashes with 38 people aboard

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By Tim Stelloh  with NBC News World News
Image: A Chile Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules seen ready to
A Chile Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules preparing to leave the Arturo Merino Benitez Airport in Santiago, Chile, on March 21.   -   Copyright  Fabrizio Gandolfo

A Chilean Air Force plane flying to Antarctica with 38 people on board crashed on Monday afternoon, officials said.

The C130 Hercules, which took off from the city of Punta Arenas, was flying to President Eduardo Frei Montalva Antarctic Air Base when it disappeared, Chile's Air Force said in a statement.

The plane, which was transferring personnel to a floating fuel supply pipeline, lost radio contact shortly after 6:00 p.m. Officials later said it had crashed.

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Twenty-one people aboard the plane were passengers and 17 were crew members, the statement said.

President Sebastian Piñera said authorities were monitoring search and rescue efforts.

This is a developing story.