September 2, 2011 / 10:55 PM / 8 years ago

Chile says air force plane missing off Juan Fernandez

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A Chilean air force plane disappeared near the Juan Fernandez islands off Chile’s Pacific coast on Friday, the government said, while local media said 21 people were aboard.

Defense Minister Andres Allamand said the CASA 212 military plane had tried twice to land unsuccessfully before it went missing. He said nightfall was hampering search efforts, but did not confirm reports remains of the plane had been found.

The mayor of the islands, Leopoldo Gonzalez, told state television TVN that wreckage, including passengers’ belongings, had been found in the sea about a kilometer (0.6 mile) away from the islands’ landing strip.

TVN said a crew of five of its staff were among the passengers, including local TV presenter Felipe Camiroaga.

Reporting by Santiago Newsroom

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