plane crash debris
© REUTERS / Fuerza Aerea de Chile (Chilean Air Force)
Chile's defense minister has confirmed that wreckage recovered from the sea off Antarctica is from a Chilean Air Force plane which disappeared on Monday. Alberto Espina also said some human remains have been found.

The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was bound for the Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva air base in Antarctica on a routine maintenance mission with 17 crew members and 21 passengers when it lost radar contact. Hours after its disappearance, Chilean authorities announced that the plane had 'crashed' as, by that time, it would have ran out of fuel.

An emergency search and rescue operation was launched by the Chilean Air Force, and some debris was recovered from the waters of the Drake Passage on Wednesday.

Espina told the media on Thursday that the debris was from the missing Hercules plane, and said that human remains from some of the victims have been recovered.

Earlier on Thursday, a Chilean regional governor said that the families of those on board the missing plane have been informed of the findings.