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article imageMilitary plane carrying 21 people missing in Chile

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 2, 2011 in World
Santiago - A plane of the Chilean Air Force transporting authorities and TV reporters from Santiago de Chile to Juan Fernández Island is missing in the Pacific Ocean with 15 passengers and a crew of 6.
Chile’s defense minister, Andres Allamand, made the official announcement about the missing plane this evening at about 20:30 hrs. The information provided tells that after approaching the island at about 17:48 hrs. Pacific Time, for unknown reasons, probably related to unfavourable weather conditions, the aircraft, a CASA C-212, made two landing attempts at the Juan Fernandez airport, but it did not achieve its goal. After that, contact with the aircraft was lost.
The Mayor of Juan Fernandez, Leopoldo Gonzalez said the aircraft carried 21 people, 15 passengers and 6 crew members. There are preliminary reports that some wreckage, including a door of the plane, fuel patches and personal items have been found floating at a location about 1 kilometer away from the island.
A Hercules C-130 and a helicopter of Chile’s Air Force have been dispatched from the continent towards the island to carry out search and rescue activities. Additionally, two frigates of the Chilean Navy sailed, one this evening and the second after midnight, from Valparaíso to the island to participate in the search.
Pacific Islands off the coast of Chile
Pacific Islands off the coast of Chile
The Juan Fernández Islands are a sparsely inhabited archipelago situated in the South Pacific Ocean about 600 km off the coast of Chile. The island economy is mostly based on tourism and fishing. The archipelago is composed of three main volcanic islands: Robinson Crusoe Island, Alejandro Selkirk Island and Santa Clara Island. The islands are mainly known for probably having been the home of sailor Alexander Selkirk who may have lived there for four years and inspired Daniel Defoe’s novel "Robinson Crusoe".
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