Santiago: The Chilean Air Force reported on Monday the disappearance of one of its cargo planes that was headed to a base in Antarctica with 38 people on board.

The Hercules C130 aircraft took off at 4.55pm (11pm UAE) from the southern city of Punta Arenas and operators lost contact with it shortly after 6pm.

“On board the C130 Hercules are 38 people, of which 17 are crew members of the aircraft and 21 are passengers,” the Air Force said in a statement.

A state of alert was declared after communication with plane was lost, and a search and rescue team was activated.

The aircraft was traveeling to perform logistical support tasks for the maintenance of Chilean facilities at the Antarctic base.