Indian Military Plane With 29 Personnel Onboard Missing Over Bay Of Bengal
India launched its colossal search operation after a military plane with 29 onboard went missing over Bay of Bengal early on Friday.
The Antonov-32 transporter aircraft which took off from Chennai at 8: 30 AM local time, was scheduled to arrive at 11.30 AM in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The massive search operation has been embarked on by five surveillance aircraft and 13 navy and coastguard ships. The Defense ministry took to twitter shortly and posted, “Full scale search & rescue launched to look for IAF AN 32 overdue at Port Blair since 1130 hrs. Max assets being deployed at earliest.”
The Russian-built Antonov AN-32 military transport plane was transporting service personnel and six crew members as it undertook a routine courier service to the Indian islands.
About 15 minutes after soaring into the air, the aircraft lost its connection from the Tambaram Air Force Station on the periphery of Chennai. The radar reports have said that the aircraft had made a steep left turn, losing altitude.
The Indian air force has around 100 AN-32s in its fleet which is a Russian aircraft equipped with navigational sustainability and competent of flying for up to four hours without refueling.
IAF officially announced that the monsoon conditions that turned turbulent and heavy darkness would delay the search efforts being undertaken. A senior official said that the most likely conclusion would be the decent of the aircraft into the ocean as the aircraft cannot sustain in air for more than four hours owing to its fuel capacity.
Twelve more ships and submarines including corvettes, destroyers and a fleet tanker have been added to the search operations. The incident has happened amid the country getting rid of its old war planes and ready to put on the new Russian jets whose deal was finalized with the soviet nation recently.