IAF plane goes missing over Bay of Bengal

An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force has gone missing over the Bay of Bengal at 9:00 a.m. on Friday. Efforts are on to locate it.

The aircraft that took off from the Tambaram Air Force base at 8:30 a.m. with 29 persons on board, including its crew, was due to land at Port Blair at 11.30 a.m. at INS Utkrosh naval airstation in Port Blair, sources in the Air Force said.

“An IAF AN-32 aircraft travelling from Chennai to Port Blair on a courier flight with service personnel was scheduled to arrive at Port Blair at 1130 hrs,” defence officials said.

The distance between Chennai and Port Blair is about 750 nautical miles or 1,200 km.

The 29 personnel on board comprise six crew (three officers, 2 airmen and one technician), 11 Air Force personnel, two other ranks from the Army, Nine Navy personnel, of which eight are Navy civilians and one Personnel Below Officer Rank (POBR) and one from the Coast Guard.

Search And Rescue launched

The ongoing Search and Rescue (SAR) has been further expanded. The Navy has now pressed 12 ships, two P-8I long range patrol aircraft and two Dornier aircraft for Full SAR efforts.

“In addition, four ships - INS Karmukh, Gharual, Jyoti and Kuthar, have been diverted to join in SAR at full speed,” Navy officials said.

Eastern Fleet Commander Rear Adm SV Bokhare has embarked on INS Sahyadri from Port Blair to undertake search for the missing plane. “The Navy is fully mobilised,” Navy spokesperson said. Additional Naval assets are on standby.

The Coast Guard has pressed CGS Sagar and one Dornier for SAR.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:26:04 AM |

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