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article imageAir ambulance with 8 people on-board missing in southern Chile

By Igor I. Solar     Mar 22, 2012 in World
Santiago - An air ambulance with 8 people on board went missing shortly after midnight Wednesday in southern Chile; the plane was conducting an evacuation of a sick person from the city of Punta Arenas to Santiago de Chile.
The General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Chile (DGAC) confirmed that the air ambulance, model Beechcraft BE 300, registration CC-AEB, belonging to Inaer-Chile, with eight occupants aboard, disappeared near the locality of Puerto Aguirre in the Chilean Patagonia region.
According to information supplied by DGAC "the air ambulance attending a medical evacuation, left the city of Punta Arenas at 23:17 hrs. Wednesday to travel about 3,000 kilometres to Santiago." At 00:58 hours, approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Puerto Aguirre, the pilot declared an emergency and two minutes later radar contact with the plane was lost.
The general manager of Inaer-Chile, Rodrigo Lizasoain, said that 8 people were on board the plane, according to LaTercera (in Spanish). These include, the pilot, co-pilot, a woman who was the patient being evacuated to Santiago for emergency treatment, her husband and a medical team comprised by a doctor and paramedics. The Inaer representative also noted that both the pilot and co-pilot had the required skills and expertise to operate the aircraft under difficult conditions.
According to Chile’s Defense Minister, Andres Allamand, it is unknown whether the plane fell on the ground or at
Southern tip of South America showing the Aysén Region and the location of Puerto Aguirre where the...
Southern tip of South America showing the Aysén Region and the location of Puerto Aguirre where the air ambulance with eight people on board went mssing on Wednesday March 21, 2012. (Google Earth).
Google Earth
sea, but several planes and helicopters are searching the region focusing on the area north-northeast of Puerto Aguirre, Puerto Aysén and sectors adjacent to Balmaceda. However, efforts are being hampered by the complex topography of the area which is uninhabited, lacks access by road, and is only reachable by air or sea. He added that the government will continue searching for the missing plane today and for the next seven days using all available resources including three naval vessels, a Twin Otter aircraft, a Black Hawk helicopter and additional helicopters provided by the Chilean Army and the National Police.
INAER is a Spanish aeronautical company. The company, with a fleet of 360 aircraft and helicopters, has more than 2,400 employees and presence in Spain, Italy, France, UK, Portugal, Chile, Peru and Australia.
More about Chile, Missing plane, Air ambulance, Punta Arenas, InaerChile
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