“The plane is presumed to have crashed, given that the amount of fuel and the plane’s autonomy had already run out. Given that, it is already assumed that the plane has crashed,” said Gen. Francisco Torres in a televised press conference.
Its last known position was about 390 nautical miles from Punta Arenas and 280 nautical miles from the Antarctic base, according to the Air Force.
There were 17 crew members and 21 other passengers on board, who were on their way to perform “logistical support tasks” such as repairing the floating oil pipeline that provides fuel for the base, said the Air Force.
In addition to crew members, the plane was also carrying personnel from the armed forces, an engineering firm, and the University of Magallanes.
Argentina, Uruguay, and the United States have joined the search effort, according to a press release from the Chilean Air Force on Tuesday.
Two US satellites are being used to capture images of the location where the plane went missing.
Air Force General Eduardo Mosqueira told reporters Tuesday that the “intensified” search efforts will continue for six days, and possibly extend over 10 days.
He added that the aircraft was in good condition at the time of takeoff — as it began a routine monthly flight to Antarctica.
The C-130 is considered a workhorse of modern militaries around the globe. The four-engine turboprop is used transport troops, equipment and cargo. The planes can carry up to 42,000 pounds of cargo or about 90 combat troops.
CNN’s Joshua Berlinger, Gerardo Lemos, Flora Charner, Bethlehem Feleke, and Nilly Kohzad contributed to this report.