The Latest: Plane lands at South Pole for medical rescue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on efforts to rescue sick worker from U.S. science station at South Pole (all times EDT):

5:45 p.m.

Federal officials say a rescue plane has landed at the South Pole to evacuate a sick worker from a remote U.S. science station.

The small plane made the 1,500-mile, nine-hour trip on Tuesday through the dark and cold from a British base on the Antarctic peninsula. Two of the 48 people at the South Pole station are ill and at least one of them needs medical care off the continent.

The National Science Foundation, which runs the station, said the flight crew will rest for 10 hours. Then early Wednesday morning, the Twin Otter plane will return to the British station and then head to a hospital outside of Antarctica.

The station is isolated from February to October because it is too cold and dark for routine flights.


11:24 a.m.

A daring South Pole medical rescue is underway. An airplane left a British base in Antarctica Tuesday for the 1,500-mile trip to evacuate a sick worker from a U.S. science station.

Athena Dinar, spokeswoman for the British Antarctic Survey, said one of two Twin Otter planes began the trip Tuesday, while the other is still at the Rothera station on the Antarctic peninsula.

The National Science Foundation which runs the South Pole station decided last week to mount the unusual rescue operation because a staffer needed medical care that can’t be provided at the station. The foundation has not identified the individual or the person’s condition but said the worker is an employee of Lockheed Martin, which provides logistical support.