23 July, New Delhi
Indian Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard are leaving no stone unturned to locate the missing aircraft AN-32.
Air Force PRO, Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee told media in New Delhi that all assets have been involved in search and rescue operation.
Navy PRO Captain D K Sharma said, bad weather and low visibility are creating difficulties, but all steps are being taken to find the missing aircraft.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today reviewed the ongoing search operations to locate the missing Indian Air Force aircraft AN-32.
He visited INS Rajali, the Naval Air Station at Arakkonam and was briefed on the search operations undertaken in the last 24 hours.
The Minister directed that if need arises more resources be diverted for the search and rescue operations. He was apprised of the difficult condition under which the operations are being undertaken due to thick monsoon clouds in the area making the search effort quite challenging.
Parrikar has directed that the operations be continued till further orders. The Defence Minister has directed all commanders to be in touch with the families of the missing service personnel.
More from our correspondent:- “The unfavourable weather around the zone of search operations over the Bay of Bengal remains a real challenge in tracing the ill-fated aircraft.
Defence Ministry sources said 13 naval ships are now involved in tracing the missing place as against 8 last evening. It has also mobilized two P8i long range maritime surveillance aircraft and two Dorniers and another Dornier has been kept on standby at Port Blair.
The Air Force has also deployed an AN-32 and two C-130 aircraft for the search mission and kept two more AN32 and a C-130 aircraft on standby. However, there is no headway made so far.
The officials of Chennai Meteorological Department told AIR News, there had been an upper atmospheric air circulation above the North West Bay on Friday but added, they could not correlate it with the missing aircraft as its flight path details are not available.
Once the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder of the missing aircraft are crucial in answering key questions on the incident.
In social media, many messages show solidarity with the search mission. The search mission is going on in an unprecedented scale and in a relentless manner.
“Out of 29 people, who were on-board, six were crew members, eleven were IAF personnel, two belonged to Indian Army and one person was from Indian Coast Guard. Eight civilians working with Indian Navy along with one sailor from Indian Navy were also traveling in the aircraft.
The transport aircraft disappeared from the radar screens yesterday morning some 300 km East of Chennai coast.