Indian Air Force AN-32 plane still missing, search operation continues

New Delhi : The search for the AN-32 aircraft that has been missing over the Bay of Bengal with 29 on board was today on in full swing even as Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar left for Chennai to monitor the massive search operation.

Defence sources said the search is in full swing and no detection has been made till now. The transport plane of the Indian Air Force with 29 people on board, including four officers, went missing yesterday while flying from Chennai to Port Blair.

The AN-32 aircraft took off at 0830 hours from Tambaram in Chennai and the last contact with it was made 16 minutes later.

The aircraft can fly for up to four hours without refuelling. Parrikar will receive a detailed briefing on the entire operations, the sources said.

A massive search and rescue operation has been launched by IAF, Navy and Coast Guard, deploying one submarine, eight aircraft and 13 ships for tracking the upgraded plane.

The 29 people on board the Air Force’s workhorse for a long period included six crew members, two of them pilots and one navigator. Besides, there were 11 personnel from the IAF including an officer, two from the Army, one from the Coast Guard and 9 from the navy which included some from its armament depot.