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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Searchers combing Antarctic seas have recovered parts of a military transport plane and human remains belonging to some of the 38 people aboard who vanished en route to the frozen continent, Chilean officials said Thursday.
Air Force Gen. Arturo Merino said at a news conference that based on the condition of the remains, he believed it would be “practically impossible” that any survivors would be pulled from the water alive.
An international team of searchers continued the hunt, while officials on shore said they would use DNA analysis to identify the crash victims.
Among the recovered items, searchers have found a landing wheel, sponge-like material from the fuel tanks and part of the plane's inside wall. Personal items include a backpack and a shoe, officials said.
"Remains of human beings that are most likely the passengers have been found among several pieces of the plane," Merino said. “I feel immense pain for this loss of lives.”
The C-130 Hercules, a military transport plane, departed Monday afternoon from a base in Punta Arenas in far-southern Chile on a regular maintenance flight for an Antarctic base. Radio contact was lost 70 minutes later.
After midnight, the Air Force declared the plane a loss, but it wasn’t until Wednesday that a plane scanning the seas first spotted floating debris believed to be from the plane.
The searchers located the remains roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) from where pilots last made contact with the control tower, said officials, adding that the hunt has taken them to sea depths of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet).
Ed Coleman, a pilot and chair of the Safety Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, said recovering the plane's flight recorder will be key to understanding what went wrong.
But recovering the bulk of the plane from the ocean's bottom — more than 2 miles underwater — could be very difficult. He said they could resort to taking video from remote operated vehicles.
It may be impossible to return some of the crash victims to their families, he said.
“It’s possible that some of them may never be recovered,” Coleman said. “A lot of times that happens in a deep-water recovery. It’s just not possible.”
The plane was flying over Drake Passage, the sea between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica, which is infamous for rapidly changing and often severe weather. Pilots say the driving storms with powerful wind gusts brings challenges.
The aircraft would have been about halfway to the Antarctic base when it lost contact, officials have said, adding that no emergency signals had been activated. Officials haven't said what they believe led the plane to crash.
Gen. Cristián Pizarro said that the first of the recovered human remains will arrive ashore Friday. Many relatives of the victims rushed to the Punta Arenas in search of answers.
Just three of the passengers were civilians, including Ignacio Parada, 24, who was a stand-out student of civil engineering in his last year at the University of Magallanes. He was headed to study drinking water systems at the military base.
Claudia Manzo, 37, was the only woman on board. She worked in the Air Force service that deals with aerial photographs of the continent. She also served as one of Parada's research advisers. She leaves behind a 5-year-old son.
Another of those aboard, electrician Jacob Pizarro, 38, had lost his wife five months ago, leaving behind two children, ages 2 and 6, who are in the care of their grandmother.
Defense Minister Alberto Espina expressed his gratitude for the international support in the search. It included 23 airplanes and dozens of ships from Argentina, Brazil, United States, Great Britain and Uruguay as well as Chile.
Associated Press writer Scott Smith contributed to this story from Caracas, Venezuela.
DOHA (Reuters) - The American sanctions imposed on Iran violate the United Nations charter and international law, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told a conference in Qatar on Saturday.
''Malaysia does not support the reimposition of the unilateral sanctions by the US against Iran,'' he told the Doha Forum, also attended by Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Malaysia and other countries have lost a ''a big market'' because of the sanctions on Iran, he said.
''Such sanctions clearly violate the United Nations charter and international law; sanctions can only be applied by the United Nations in accordance with the charter,'' he added.
(This story has been refiled to remove an error in last paragraph)
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, writing by Maher Chmaytelli)
WASHINGTON – All of the Democratic presidential candidates slated to attend next week’s primary debate may skip it due to ongoing local union negotiations at Loyola Marymount University, the site of the debate.
Unite Here Local 11, which represents 150 cooks, dishwashers, cashiers, and servers at the university, will picket next Thursday ahead of the debate and called on candidates to not cross the picket line.
Every candidate who has qualified for the debate — former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren; South Bend, Indiana; Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and entrepreneurs Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang — said they will not cross the picket line.
“I won't be crossing a picket line,” Biden wrote in a tweet. “We’ve got to stand together with @UniteHere11 for affordable health care and fair wages. A job is about more than just a paycheck. It's about dignity.”
I stand with the workers of @UniteHere11 on campus at Loyola Marymount University fighting Sodexo for a better contract. I will not be crossing their picket line.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 13, 2019
.@UniteHere11 is fighting for better wages and benefits—and I stand with them. The DNC should find a solution that lives up to our party's commitment to fight for working people. I will not cross the union's picket line even if it means missing the debate.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 13, 2019
Local 11 has been in negotiations since March for a collective bargaining agreement with Sodexo, a global services company that is subcontracted by Loyola Marymount University for food service operations and hires the workers. However, a resolution has yet to be reached.
Last month, students and workers began picketing on campus over the stalled negotiations. Sodexo last week canceled scheduled contract negotiations, according to Local 11.
Susan Minato, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11, said in a statement that the union “hoped that workers would have a contract with wages and affordable health insurance before the debate next week.”
Instead, workers will be picketing when the candidates come to campus,” she said in the statement.
The Democratic National Committee last month switched their location from the University of California, Los Angeles, in support of the university's union that has imposed a boycott.
The DNC is “working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled,” DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said a tweet Friday.
”Tom Perez would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to either,” she wrote in the tweet.
Tom Perez would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to either. We are working with all stakeholders to find an acceptable resolution that meets their needs and is consistent with our values and will enable us to proceed as scheduled. https://t.co/sGaKBCJdL6
— Xochitl Hinojosa (@XochitlHinojosa) December 13, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: December debate: Biden, Sanders, Warren may skip debate over union conflict