Missing Air Force plane: India's defence minister to monitor search ops

This is the first time an AN-32 has disappeared over the Bay of Bengal. (Representative image) Photograph:( Getty )

ANI Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Jul 23, 2016, 07.05 AM (IST)
Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar is visiting Tambaram air base near the city of Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, today to monitor the search operations for the missing Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft AN-32.

The plane went missing yesterday while flying from Chennai to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar chain of islands, with 29 people on board.

The spokesperson of the Indian Navy, Captain DK Sharma said, the air force, navy and coast guard are engaged in intensive search operations to locate the aircraft.

As per reports, INS Jalashwa is expected to reach the area today to assist in the search operations.

The AN-32 are being used by the IAF to carry the personnel of the army, navy and the air force and coast guard and defence civilians posted in India's only integrated command in Andaman and Nicobar.

They also carry tonnes of materials like food items and medicines.

This is the first time an AN-32 has disappeared over the Bay of Bengal.

Apart from the navy, coast guard and air force, the Tamil Nadu coastal police have also participated in the search operations.

Defence authorities have already informed the families of the six crew members and the other 23 personnel. A submarine has also rushed to the probable area.

The signals of the locator beacon of the aircraft hold the key to the search operation.