Plane completes risky journey back from south pole to rescue sick workers

A plane evacuating two workers in need of urgent medical treatment has successfully returned from a freezing and risky 3,000-mile midwinter round trip to a remote base at the south pole.

The Twin Otter aircraft – the only type of plane in the world capable of flying in the -60C (-76F) temperatures of the polar midwinter – began its return journey from the US science station at the pole to the British Rothera base on the Antarctic peninsula in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The flight took approximately 10 hours each way.

After a rest for the plane’s three-strong crew and a medical team member, the two patients were flown on to Punta Arenas, Chile, arriving at 9.41pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). From there, they will be taken to a medical facility at an undisclosed location.

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