The Latest: Sick US workers reach Chile in Antarctica rescue

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Posted: Jun 22, 2016 10:30 PM
The Latest: Sick US workers reach Chile in Antarctica rescue

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The Latest on the rescue of two ailing workers from the U.S. research station at the South Pole (all times EDT):

10:20 p.m. EDT

A small plane with two sick U.S. workers has arrived safely in Chile after leaving Antarctica in a rescue mission from a remote South Pole research station, according to a statement from the National Science Foundation.

The workers arrived late Wednesday in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. They made a stop earlier at a British station on the edge of Antarctica.

The statement said that from Punta Arenas, the two patients will be transported to a medical facility for treatment.

The rescue team flew 3,000 miles roundtrip from the British station Rothera to pick up the workers at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole. The National Science Foundation said they arrived back at Rothera Wednesday afternoon. They then boarded a second Canadian-owned Twin Otter plane for Punta Arenas.

The NSF, which runs the station, has not identified the sick workers or their conditions, citing medical privacy.

4:30 p.m. EDT

A small plane carrying two sick passengers is headed from Antarctica to Chile, the latest leg in a daring rescue mission from a remote U.S. research station at the South Pole.

After making a stop for a few hours at a British station on the edge of Antarctica, the two ailing U.S. workers left for Chile on another plane. A spokeswoman for the British station said the two are expected to arrive in Chile for medical treatment Wednesday evening.

The rescue team left the U.S. Amundsen-Scott station at the South Pole on Wednesday morning for the 1,500-mile trip to the British post Rothera.

Cold and dark usually prevent planes from flying to the polar outpost from February to October.

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1:45 p.m.

Federal officials say a small plane with two sick workers has arrived at a British station in Antarctica, the first leg in a daring rescue mission from a remote U.S. station at the South Pole.

National Science Foundation spokesman Peter West confirmed that the Twin Otter turboprop landed Wednesday afternoon at the British station, after a 1,500-mile flight from the South Pole.

The next step is for the two patients to be flown off the continent, probably to South America, for further medical care. That could happen later Wednesday or Thursday, depending on weather conditions and the workers' health. West would not reveal the patients' names or conditions.

Cold and dark usually prevent planes from flying to the polar outpost from February to October.

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1:45 p.m.

Federal officials say a small plane with two sick workers has arrived at a British station in Antarctica, the first leg in a daring rescue mission from a remote U.S. station at the South Pole.

National Science Foundation spokesman Peter West confirmed that the Twin Otter turboprop landed Wednesday afternoon at the British station, after a 1,500-mile flight from the South Pole.

The next step is for the two patients to be flown off the continent, probably to South America, for further medical care. That could happen later Wednesday or Thursday, depending on weather conditions and the workers' health. West would not reveal the patients' names or conditions.

Cold and dark usually prevent planes from flying to the polar outpost from February to October.

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7:55 a.m.

Federal officials say a small plane has left the South Pole with a sick worker in a daring rescue mission from the remote U.S. science outpost.

National Science Foundation spokesman Peter West said Wednesday that the Canadian Twin Otter turboprop plane started the 1,500-mile flight to Rothera, a British station on the Antarctic peninsula. From there, the patient will be flown off Antarctica for medical attention that could not be provided on the remote continent.

West said at least one worker had to be evacuated, but it could be two.

Normally planes don't use the polar outpost from February to October because of the dangers of flying in the pitch dark and cold. Wednesday it was minus 75 degrees at the South Pole (minus 60 Celsius).