The Chilean air force said Wednesday that parts of a plane that crashed en route to Antarctica with 38 people aboard were found in the water near the last known position of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

Bits of foam from the plane's interior were encountered by the crew of Chilean-flagged fishing vessel Antarctic Endeavour in an area 30km (19mi) south of the location of the C-130 before contact was lost, the air force said in a statement.