Chennai, July 22: An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 29 people on board went missing over the Bay of Bengal on Friday, Defence Ministry officials said, adding that a full-scale search and rescue mission has been launched.
The aircraft took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m., and was expected to land at Port Blair at 11.30 a.m., officials said.
Those on board included personnel from all three services and six crew members, an IAF spokesperson told OneIndia.
Here are the updates of what we know so far about the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft:
- As many as 18 navy and coast guard ships including a submarine, and eight aircraft like P 81, C 130 and Dorniers were pressed into search operations to find the AN 32 transport aircraft
- "The Defence Minister was appraised of the difficult conditions under which the operations are being carried out during the last 24 hours. The sea is very choppy and there is thick cloud cover in area," the Defence Ministry official said.
- "Defence Minister reviewed the situation and utilisation of assets and resources and has directed that if necessary more resources to be diverted to the effort," officials further said.
- Parrikar on Saturday reviewed search operation for IAF AN-32 and directed all commanders to be in touch with families.
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was briefed onboard the P8I aircraft about the ongoing search operation of mising IAF plane.
- Navy sails specialised ship INS Investigator from Port Blair for search operation.
- MoD sources say that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar leaves Tambaram for aerial survey of Search ops for IAF AN 32.
- 8 Telugu passengers from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh are there in missing IAF AN-32 aircraft.
- They are Samba Murthy, Prasad Babu, Nagendra Rao, Senapathi, Maharana, Chinna Rao, Srinivas Rao, Chitti babu.
- This incident took place 270 kms away from Chennai; families of all who were on board have been informed, says Dr SBhamre on missing IAF plane.
- TN Coastal security Group has deployed 12 fast moving interceptors from Chennai to Rameshwaram region for search operations.
- Indian Navy launches 1 submarine for underwater detection of any transmission or signal of missing IAF aircraft AN-32.
- Missing include 6 crew members,12 IAF personnel, 1 from Navy, 1 coastguard,1 armyman and 8 civilians.
- Efforts on to trace IAF AN 32 aircraft and our Service personnel on board, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
- We will put all assets available with us in search operation for IAF aircraft AN-32, says Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee
- The Russian-made AN-32 aircraft was on a "courier flight" with service personnel on board. It is capable of flying continuously for four hours without refuelling.
- A major search and rescue operation has been launched by the Indian Navy and IAF in the Bay of Bengal.
- Indian Navy spokesperson D.K. Sharma said a P-8I surveillance aircraft, a Dornier and several ships have been deployed in the search and rescue operation.
- Ships deployed for the search include Shivalik-class stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, guided-missile destroyers INS Rajput and Ranvijay, corvettes Kamorta, Kirch, Karmuk, Kora, Kuthar, fleet tankers INS Shakti, and INS Jyoti, amphibious warfare vessel INS Gharial and patrol vessel INS Sukanya, the Indian Navy said.
The incident comes a year after a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft with three crew members on board on a routine surveillance flight went missing. The search team found its black box nearly after a month and later the skeletal remains and personal belongings of the crew members were recovered from the sea bed off Tamil Nadu coast.
The IAF at present has a fleet of over 100 AN-32s in service. [IAF's AN-32 missing: All you need to know about the aircraft]
WATCH: Captain DK Sharma, Navy PRO on IAF AN-32 plane flying from Tambaram (Chennai) to Port Blair gone missinghttps://t.co/tAAEpu8edW— ANI (@ANI_news) July 22, 2016
Wrap of IAF assets used so far in SAR op fr AN 32 - one AN 32&two C 130, Mi-17 V5 with floats on standby, two AN 32 & one C-130 on standby.— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) July 23, 2016
Wrap of IN/ICG assets employed so far in SAR ops for AN 32 - two P8I & two Dornier. One Dornier on standby at Port Blair.— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) July 23, 2016
Wrap of IN surface vessls emplyd in SAR ops for AN 32 - by 22/7 AN 5 ships, by 22/7 evng 8 ships, by this morning 13 ships in search area.— DPR (@SpokespersonMoD) July 23, 2016