Search for missing plane in Antarctica: New Zealand officials

WELLINGTON Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:11pm EST

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A search is under way in Antarctica for a missing plane with three Canadians on board, New Zealand rescue authorities said on Thursday.

An emergency locator beacon from a Twin Otter plane flying from the South Pole to the Italian base in Terra Nova was activated late on Wednesday in the northern end of the Queen Alexandra Range.

A search by a U.S. National Guard Hercules failed to spot the plane, and a second flight over the area was planned, the NZ Rescue Coordination Centre said.

Weather conditions in the area were said to be poor, with low cloud and strengthening winds.

A joint New Zealand-United States field rescue team was assembled and a helicopter was due to drop them into the area when conditions improved.

(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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