iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- More than 2 million Britons and U.K. residents have signed a petition calling for a redo of the European Union referendum, just days after the United Kingdom voted to leave the bloc.
The petition, which was posted before Thursday’s vote, said the government should hold another referendum on E.U. membership if the votes for the "Leave" or "Remain" side are less than 60 percent in a turnout of fewer than 75 percent of eligible voters.
The referendum Thursday saw a turnout of 72 percent of eligible voters, with 52 percent -- or more than 17 million people -- backing a British exit, or "Brexit," and 48 percent voting to remain an E.U. member state.
The financial markets quickly reacted lower to the results and the U.S. stock markets closed at three month lows on Friday.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation Friday after leading the failed "Remain" campaign, had said there wouldn’t be a second vote. But since the unprecedented outcome, the petition, which only British citizens or U.K. residents can sign, has garnered 2,149,429 signatures by 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Parliament must consider a debate on any petition posted on its website that garners more than 100,000 signatures. The government has to respond to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures.
The petition’s website showed a map indicating that most signatures were from people based in areas where support for the "Remain" side was strongest, including London.
iStock/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS) -- Anti-terror raids in Belgium had police arrest two men who were planning to attack a Euro 2016 match.
Belgian Police took in the two men for questioning after overnight raids in Verviers and Tournai. They were later arrested and charged for "participation to the activities of a terrorist group," according to the Belgium Federal Prosecutor's Office.
ABC News confirmed with Belgian Police that the two men were targeting the Hungary-Belgium Euro 2016 match scheduled for Sunday at 9 p.m. local time.
The two men were charged as perpetrator or co-perpetrator, according to the prosecutor's office.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Navy has relieved from duty another commanding officer that oversaw the 10 sailors who, this past January, were detained by Iran for 15 hours after the two boats they were aboard strayed into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
Captain Kyle S. Moses, who commanded the Bahrain-based Task Force 56, was relieved of his duties Friday by Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).
"Capt. Moses was relieved due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command," reads a Navy statement. "He has been temporarily reassigned to the NAVCENT staff."
The two Riverine boats seized on Jan. 12 by Iranian vessels near Farsi Island had been operating as part of Task Force 56, which is responsible for expeditionary vessels operating in the Middle East. Riverine boats are designed to operate in harbor waters and shallow water areas.
The two Riverine boats were traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain when faulty navigational gear led them to stray into Iranian territorial waters near Farsi Island.
The Navy said Donegan took the action after a final review of the investigation into the circumstances that led to the sailors' detention.
"Several weeks ago, I had initially taken what I felt was appropriate administrative and corrective action involving Capt. Moses based on the preliminary results of the investigation, which I began immediately after we recovered our Sailors," said Donegan in the Navy statement. "However, after thoroughly examining the findings of the final, comprehensive investigation, I determined that this additional action was necessary."
Moses is the second officer to be relieved of command following the incident. In mid May, Commander Eric Rasch was relieved of his command of the San Diego-based Riverine Squadron that oversaw the training and equipping of the detained sailors prior to their deployment to the Persian Gulf. A Navy statement at the time said "Rasch was relieved due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command."
Defense officials say Admiral John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, plans to release the findings of the completed investigation next Thursday at a Pentagon news conference.
Additional personnel involved in the incident could face possible administrative action for the navigational mistakes that led to the incident as well as their behavior throughout the incident, according to defense officials.
Annie Pong(PETALUMA, Calif.) -- "The World's Ugliest Dog" has been crowned.
Sweepee Rambo, a blind Chihuahua/Chinese Crested mix was anointed the title Friday at The World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California.
Dogs from around the globe competed for the title at the annual contest, which honors "homely hounds."
The 17-year-old pooch's owner, Jason Wurtz of Encino, California, tells ABC News that the canine was a gift to his ex-wife, but following the couple's split, he took possession of the dog since she thought Sweepee Rambo was -- you guessed it -- ugly.
Sweepee Rambo has been in the competition three times, but finally won top honors.
“We’re proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great add to any family,” Erin Post, CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, said in a statement.
Other competitors in this year’s competition are Zsa-Zsa, a 7-year-old English bulldog rescued from a puppy mill, and Himisaboo, a dog whose hairstyle is drawing comparisons to presidential candidate Donald Trump.
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday morning that he will step down as prime minister in the fall, saying the country needs "fresh leadership."
His announcement follows UK voters' historic referendum decision to leave the European Union.
He said he will continue as prime minister with his cabinet for the next three months, and will step down in time for the Conservative party's conference.
"I love this country and feel honored to have served it," Cameron said. "Will of British people must be respected."
He added, "The British people have spoken....This was not a decision taken lightly. There can be no doubt about the result. I will reassure the markets that British economy is strong. This will require strong leadership. I’ve been proud to be prime minister for six years."
Good morning everyone, the country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history.
Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have all had their say.
We should be proud of the fact that in these islands we trust the people for these big decisions.
We not only have a parliamentary democracy, but on questions about the arrangements for how we've governed there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves and that is what we have done.
The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.
I want to thank everyone who took part in the campaign on my side of the argument, including all those who put aside party differences to speak in what they believe was the national interest and let me congratulate all those who took part in the Leave campaign for the spirited and passionate case that they made.
The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered. It was not a decision that was taken lightly, not least because so many things were said by so many different organisations about the significance of this decision.
So there can be no doubt about the result.
Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made. I would reassure those markets and investors that Britain's economy is fundamentally strong and I would also reassure Britons living in European countries and European citizens living here there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances.
There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.
We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union. This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced. But above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership.
I'm very proud and very honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.
I believe we've made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people's life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain's economic strength.
And I'm grateful to everyone who's helped to make that happen. I have also always believed that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them.
That is why we delivered the first coalition government in 70 years, to bring our economy back from the brink.
It's why we delivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland. And it's why I made the pledge to renegotiate Britain's position in the European Union and to hold the referendum on our membership and have carried those things out.
I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionately what I think and feel - head, heart and soul.
I held nothing back, I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone - not the future of any single politician including myself.
But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.
I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
This is not a decision I've taken lightly but I do believe it's in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
There is no need for a precise timetable today but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.
Delivering stability will be important and I will continue in post as Prime Minister with my Cabinet for the next three months.
The Cabinet will meet on Monday, the Governor of the Bank of England is making a statement about the steps that the Bank and the Treasury are taking to reassure financial markets.
We will also continue taking forward the important legislation that we set before Parliament in the Queen's Speech.
And I have spoken to Her Majesty the Queen this morning to advise her of the steps that I am taking.
A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it's right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.
I will attend the European Council next week to explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision.
The British people have made a choice, that not only needs to be respected but those on the losing side of the argument - myself included - should help to make it work.
Britain is a special country - we have so many great advantages – a parliamentary democracy where we resolve great issues about our future through peaceful debate, a great trading nation with our science and arts, our engineering and our creativity, respected the world over.
And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model for the multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, that people can come and make a contribution and rise to the very highest that their talent allows.
Although leaving Europe was not the path I recommended, I am the first to praise our incredible strengths.
I said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find a way.
Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way and I will do everything I can to help.
I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Brexit could now threaten the unity of the United Kingdom as Scotland and Northern Ireland raise the prospect of holding their own referendums to leave the U.K.
The option of an independence referendum for Scotland is "on the table,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Friday, speaking shortly after results of a referendum signaled that the U.K. had voted to leave the European Union.
Scotland was firmly in the “Remain” camp with 62 percent who voted to stay, against 38 percent for leaving the U.K. While Scots voted to remain in the U.K. in a 2014 referendum, Thursday’s vote could prompt them to at least call for another vote.
Sturgeon said it was "democratically unacceptable" for Scotland to be taken out of the E.U. and insured she would take "all possible steps and explore all options."
In Northern Ireland, where 56 percent voted to remain in the E.U., the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has also called for a vote on a United Ireland.
In a statement, the Irish government said the result had "very significant implications for Ireland, as well as for Britain and for the European Union.”
Spain has also said it will seek co-sovereignty of Britain's small Mediterranean enclave of Gibraltar. The territory voted 96 percent to stay in the E.U. and is wholly reliant on Spain for trade and access.
Courtesy of Dain Yoon(SEOUL) -- Dain Yoon describes herself as an "illusion artist."
Since last year, the 22-year-old student from South Korea has been busy painting -- on herself.
Yoon told ABC News her body art aims "to express multi-dimension[al] perspectives that humans possess, and, thus, I have decided to paint my ideas on my own body."
The Korea National University of Arts student said anything can inspire her.
"There is nothing grand...about my source of inspiration," Yoon explained. "Anything, even in a very ordinary life, could be great inspirations with different perspectives. But if I were to choose something out of my routine that draws inspiration, I would say that movies often help me twist my perspectives."
Yoon said that she's been "drawing and painting" since she was a young girl, excelling at the most prestigious art schools in Korea.
Still, she's thrilled her art has captured the internet's attention for now.
"As I expand my areas on illusion art, I would like to study more at a graduate school level abroad," Yoon revealed.
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI(NEW YORK) -- NASA's New Horizons sent back an image showing a "Super Grand Canyon" on Pluto's largest moon, Charon, that's longer and deeper than the Grand Canyon here on Earth.
The canyon, which is informally named Argo Chasma, is estimated to be 430 miles long and as deep as 5.5 miles, according to NASA. By comparison, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is 280 miles long and is a little more than a mile deep.
The image was taken when New Horizons was 289,000 miles away from Charon. The space probe made a historic flyby of Pluto and its moons last July, and has since been sending photos and data back to Earth.
The spacecraft, equipped with a power system that converts radiation from decaying plutonium into electricity, loses about a few watts each year but may have enough power for two more decades of exploration, according to NASA. It's currently moving through the Kuiper Belt, an area full of tiny, icy worlds at the edge of the solar system.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — World leaders reacted swiftly to the United Kingdom's historic vote to leave the European Union, with many expressing deep concern and uncertainty over the referendum.
French President Francois Hollande said Friday morning he will meet with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday after Britain voted Thursday to leave the E.U.
Here's reaction from other leaders around the world: NATO
“The British people have decided to leave the European Union. As it defines the next chapter in its relationship with the EU, I know that the United Kingdom's position in NATO will remain unchanged. The UK will remain a strong and committed NATO Ally, and will continue to play its leading role in our Alliance.” France
"I profoundly regret this decision for the United Kingdom and for Europe, but the choice is theirs and we have to respect it,” French President Francois Hollande told reporters Friday after a meeting with his ministers.
French leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon said on French radio Friday morning, “This is the end of a world that begins with this Brexit. This teaches a lesson to the whole of Europe; either we change it or we leave it. This is the time for a plan B.” Ireland
Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the result has "very significant implications" for Ireland. He was due to make a statement after a special meeting of ministers Friday. Spain
Spain's foreign minister proposed sharing Britain's small Mediterranean enclave of Gibraltar after Britain voted to exit the European Union, saying it would allow the overseas territory to maintain access to the E.U.'s single market. Germany
After an emergency meeting with parliamentary heads, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed "great regret" over the result and warned Europe shouldn't draw "quick and simple conclusions" that would create further division.
Norbert Röttgen, a senior member of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Party, decried Brexit as the "biggest catastrophe in the history of European integration." Italy
Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said, "The decision of the British voters must be a wake-up call." Russia
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's upper house of Parliament, told the Interfax news agency that the E.U. "has not solved its main problem: to become understood by and convenient for the broader masses of the population."
But “this is an issue for the E.U. foremost to draw conclusions from, and Britain only second," he said. Japan
The Foreign Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, released a statement Friday morning that the country will closely observe the impact of those developments on Japan and the international community. Kishida added that the government of Japan will continue to make efforts to maintain and strengthen the Japan-U.K .relations. South Korea
South Korea's economic and financial authorities have held an emergency meeting to discuss ways to fend off any possible fallout from the British withdrawal from the European Union, the news agency Yonhap reported. Greece
Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras said the result is a "negative development,” adding that the migrant crisis was partly to blame for the Brexit vote. Sweden
The Swedish prime minister says the vote result was a "wake-up call" for the E.U., and says it must show it can respond to people's expectations.
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The United Kingdom voted in a referendum Thursday to leave the European Union, according to the United Kingdom Electoral Commission.
The Leave side garnered 51.9 percent of the vote, while the Remain side garnered 48.1 percent, according to the Commission.
Shortly after 6:30 a.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET), the winning side became apparent, when the Leave side had more than 17 million votes, exceeding the 16.8 million needed to win -- which is more than 50% of the vote.
Jenny Watson, chairwoman of the United Kingdom Electoral Commission soon after officially declared that the UK voted to leave the European Union. Voter turnout at 72.2 percent was very high for the UK.
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, a proponent of the Leave movement tweeted, "We've got our country back. Thanks to all of you. #IndependenceDay."
Farage also tweeted a video to his supporters in which he said, "We've done it..We've overturned the establishment, the big banks, the big businesses."
England and Wales supported Leave, while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted Remain.
More than 1.6 million Scottish votes backed Remain against Leave's around 1 million Scottish votes.
More than 440,000 Northern Irish voters supported Remain and about 349,000 backed Leave.
England supported Leave by nearly 15 million votes against Remain's 13 million. London, including West Oxfordshire, home to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency, supported Remain.
European Union officials in Brussels are trying to figure out the next steps after the UK's dramatic decision. Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, is hosting meetings Friday with the leaders of the European Council and Parliament, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency. They will attempt to agree on how to handle the vote, which could lead to a member country leaving the EU for the first time in history.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, tweeted his reaction, writing, "We are prepared for this negative scenario. There will be no legal vacuum." He also tweeted a video of his press conference:
The first results from England Friday showed greater than expected support for leaving. Newcastle, which was the first to declare a result in the country, voted to remain in the EU but by a very small margin: 50.7 percent voted to stay while 49.3 percent voted to Leave. Sunderland voted to Leave at 61.3 percent while 38.7 percent voted to stay.
The Bank of England said it will take "all necessary steps" to meet responsibilities for monetary and fiscal stability. At one point Friday, the Pound fell to $1.33, the lowest since the mid 1980s. Before the results came in, the Pound had risen as high as $1.50 because traders expected a Remain victory. But following the early results that showed stronger than expected support for Leave in north-east England it dropped to $1.43 and then took another dive after Leave continued to lead. As of 1:30 a.m. ET, the Pound was worth $1.34.
Following news of the Leave side's victory, a White House official released a brief statement: "The President has been briefed on the incoming returns in the UK referendum, and he will continue to be updated by his team as the situation warrants. We expect the President will have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Cameron over the course of the next day, and we will release further comment as soon as appropriate."
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(SOUTH AYRSHIRE, Scotland) — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in Scotland for a two-day business trip, Friday called the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union “purely historic,” even though a majority Scottish voters indicated they wanted to remain part of the EU.
Trump compared the U.K. referendum vote, “dubbed Brexit,” to America’s presidential election. "People really see a big parallel," he noted Friday at a news conference at his Turnberry golf course.
“What I like is that I love to see people take their country back. And that's really what's happening in the United States,” Trump said.
Overall in the UK, 52 percent voted to leave the 28-member bloc, while 48.1 percent voted to stay. However, in Scotland there was a very different result with 62 percent voting to stay and 38 percent to leave.
Before Friday’s news conference, Trump tweeted that Scotland was "going wild" over the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, despite Scotland's preference to remain in the E.U.
“Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote," Trump tweeted.
Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!
He added: “They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”
On the global impact of Brexit, Trump told reporters Friday this will happen “more and more,” pointing to Germany specifically and its refugee crisis. Trump also argued that the E.U. “looks like it's on its way” to breaking up.
“You are going to have, I think, many other cases where they want to take their borders back,” Trump said. “They want to take their monetary back. They want to take a lot of things back. They want to be able to have a country again.”
When asked how leaders should unite, Trump answered, “You unite people by having a happy country.”
“When people pour into the country and it doesn't work, whether it's because of crime or, you know, various other things,” he continued. “So you can't unite a country by forcing things down the people's throats and that's what happened here.”
Breaking with old tradition that "politics stops at the water's edge," Trump then predicted that the Brexit vote would have gone differently if President Obama hadn’t urged Britain to remain in the E.U.
"But I was actually very surprised that President Obama would have come over here; he would have been so bold as to tell the people over here what to do," Trump said. "And I think that a lot of people don’t like him. I think if he had not said it; I think your results might have been different. But when he said it, people were not happy about it. And I thought it was totally inappropriate."
Trump isn’t traveling with his foreign advisers, but said he was in touch with them, although admitting, “There's nothing to talk about.”
He will continue his trip in Scotland Saturday with a visit to his other golf course and resort property in Aberdeen.
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A nervous United Kingdom is awaiting the results of the Brexit referendum -- deciding whether the country should leave the European Union -- after the polls closed at 10 p.m. local time, but the final tally won't be announced for hours.
The first results from England have shown greater than expected support for leaving. Newcastle, which was the first to declare a result in the country, voted to remain in the EU but by a very small margin: 50.7 percent voted to stay while 49.3 percent voted to leave. Sunderland voted to leave at 61.3 percent while 38.7 percent voted to stay.
The Northeast of England is leaning more toward leave than expected. Hartlepool, Basildon, Kettering, Broxbourne, Swindon and South Tyneside all voted to leave at a higher margin than expected, according to the BBC's polling index.
Remain is leading in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland so far, while leave is leading in Wales. The voter turnout based on the counted votes is very high at around 69 percent.
Gibraltar, the UK's overseas territory on the southwest tip of Spain, voted to remain in the EU by a big margin -- and was the first area to declare a result. Voter turnout in Gibraltar, which has been a British territory since 1713, was high at 84 percent and the vast majority of voters -- 96 percent -- voted to remain in the EU, while 4 percent voted to leave.
But Gibraltar is not representative of the rest of the UK because of the territory's small size and voter make-up.
The referendum is not legally binding and Parliament would still have to repeal the 1972 act that allowed the U.K. to join the E.U.
Heavy rain, lightning and floods hit large parts of the U.K. as residents headed to the polls earlier today. London's Fire Brigade received up to 300 calls overnight in three hours, the kind of volume it usually receives in a day. Flooding has caused relocation of at least two polling stations in suburban London.
"Our control staff and firefighters have been working tirelessly through the night and into this morning to deal with the huge volume of weather-related calls that we have received," the brigade said in a statement.
Among 46.5 million people voting in the referendum, scores could be affected by the weather conditions. Travel chaos is expected throughout the day with disruptions already affecting rail and subway networks, especially in London.
Turnout was expected to be high, with a record of 46.5 million entitled to vote in polling stations, which were open today between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time.
Recent polls in Britain tend to be relatively unreliable but the latest Ipsos Mori poll out this morning, and based on telephone interviews, found 52 percent of people wanted to remain in the European Union and 48 percent wanted to leave. At least two other recent polls, Opinium and TNS, have the “leave” camp at 1 point and 2 points ahead of the “remain” camp.
Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn have already cast their votes, along with former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has been campaigning for the U.K. to leave the union.
A “Brexit” would be a "turning point in the story of our country," Johnson said in an interview today in The Telegraph newspaper, adding he was prepared to sacrifice his career over his desire to see a Brexit.
ABC News(LONDON) -- The sight of ballot boxes hurriedly being past from volunteer to volunteer marked a British tradition in an otherwise untraditional ballot day -– the regional battle to be the first to declare results.
After polls closed at 10 p.m. local time, the United Kingdom now awaits the results of the crucial Brexit referendum that will decide whether the country leaves the European Union or stays.
Volunteers have been seen hastily passing ballot boxes to each other. But students who have been asked to be "runners" in Newcastle are also running with ballot boxes in an attempt to beat Sunderland as the first place in the UK to declare a result.
iStock/Thinkstock(SEVILLE, Spain) -- Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard landed Solar Impulse in Seville, Spain Thursday morning, completing a three-day historic trip across the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane powered by only the sun's energy.
A smiling Piccard was greeted by his Solar Impulse partner, Andre Borschberg, as he exited the cockpit after spending 71 hours and 8 minutes inside the cockpit, cruising over the ocean at a speed of around 50 mph.
"The Atlantic is always the symbolic flight for all the means of transportation and today it becomes a symbolic flight for energy vision," Piccard told ABC News before he took off from New York City. "It is the first time an airplane flying solar -- that means with electric engines, zero emissions, zero fuel -- is attempting to cross this ocean from America to Europe, so it is extremely exciting for all of us."
The two pilots expect to complete their around-the-world journey this summer in Abu Dhabi -- where the voyage began in March 2015. They expect to have about three more flights before completing their circumnavigation of the globe.
A departure date hasn't been set yet for the next leg, which Borschberg will fly, however Solar Impulse's team expects the next destination will be Greece or Egypt.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two sick U.S. workers have landed safely in Chile after a daring rescue from a South Pole research station, according to the National Science Foundation.
The small aircraft tasked with the medical evacuation flight out of the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station arrived in Chile Wednesday night. The ailing crew members will be treated for medical care.
The NSF did not disclose the details of the patients' conditions.
The research foundation says the plane had departed the Antarctic research station early Wednesday, making one stop at a British station in Antarctica on its way to Chile.
The patients are both seasonal employees at the station. The level of care they needed was not available at the station.
Amundsen-Scott South Pole facility is in one the most remote areas of the planet. Planes avoid the region between February and October because of the dangers of flying in the pitch black and extreme cold.
It is currently midwinter in Antarctica and the bitter cold can freeze jet fuel. The sun will not rise again until August.
This is only the third rescue mission attempted in the past 60 years. In 1999, a doctor at the station diagnosed herself with breast cancer and was unable to get out, so she treated herself with chemotherapy.