The Chilean Air Force contacted relatives of the 38 people aboard its Lockheed Hercules C-130 transport aircraft which went missing Monday afternoon en route to Antarctica to report the discovery of human remains in the area of the Drake Passage where the search for the airplane was underway, José Fernandéz, mayor of Magallanes, told the media.
It is unfortunate the information we received today from the Air Force that some remains of the plane had been found as [well as] remains of some people who were on board, said Fernández.
We are tremendously dismayed by this, my condolences to the families that have to endure this, explained Fernandez during a press conference as he added that President Sebastián Piñera himself had asked for all the support that they are going through in these difficult times be provided.
Fernández explained the remains were floating in the Drake Sea south of the last point where the position of the plane was known.
The finding was reported to the families of the victims Wednesday afternoon by General Eduardo Mosqueira Cruz, commander of the 4th Fach Air Brigade.
Earlier Wednesday FACh had reported sighting sponge chunks floating 30 kilometres south of the last point of with the C-130 which seemed to be from the aircraft. Tactical divers are to delve deeper into the findings as of Thursday morning, according to FACh sources, which also confirmed other parts of the aircraft such as its undercarriage had been found.
Defence Minister Alberto Espina and FACh chief-of-staff General Arturo Merino Núñez were expected to arrive in Punta Arenas by Thursday morning.