TIA NEWS /
Massive search is on for the missing Indian Air Force, AN-32 aircraft in the Bay of Bengal. While IAF has pressed into service a C130 plane along with two AN32, the Navy has deployed two P8i maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from Port Blair.
Four ships of Eastern Naval Command which were deployed in the Bay of Bengal on different missions, have been diverted to the search area and eight ships of Eastern Fleet, which are on return passage from the South China Sea are also proceeding at best speed to join the search operations.
A submarine at sea is also diverted to the area for locating the transmissions from emergency locator beacon onboard the aircraft. Defence Ministry said, more assets are being dispatched shortly.
A transport plane of the Indian Air Force, IAF with 29 people on board went missing today. It was 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. Navy PRO DK Sharma said that a massive search operation has been launched by the IAF, Navy and the Coast Guard.
Sahyadri, Rajput, Ranvijay, Kamorta, Kirch, Karmuk, Kora, Kuthar, Shakti, Jyoti, Ghariyal and Sukanya have sailed for searching AN-32 from Port Blair and Visakhapatnam.
Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee has said that all assets available with Air Force in search operation for IAF aircraft AN-32 would be put in place.