Search operations continue to locate missing IAF aircraft

| Updated: Jul 24, 2016 15:18 IST

Chennai, July 24 (ANI): Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar reviewed the ongoing search operations to locate the missing Indian Air Force aircraft AN-32 as search operations so far have remianed unfruitful. He visited INS Rajali, the Naval Air Station at Arakkonam on Saturday and was briefed on the search operations undertaken. The Minister directed that if need arises more resources will 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 and called on all commanders to be in touch with the families of the missing service personnel. Indian Navy PRO D.K. Sharma told ANI that so far, 13 types of ships have been deployed, including six coast guard's warships, five UH 3H helicopters and two Coast Guard Donniers in between Chennai's Tambram Port to Port Blair. "Nothing is being discounted; we have started a multi-pronged kind of a search. We are covering every bit, we are going to start a systematic and scientific search, we will also place our ships to different areas sooner," he said. IAF PRO Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee ruled out possibility of the aircraft developing a technical snag. "Every plane is bound to have any technical problems. We have a book called Form 700, it is a technical document, whereby we record each and every technical snag we encounter in the plane. We have a technical staff who asses the complainants written in the form and redress the problems accordingly, when they are fully satisfied that a particular aircraft is air worthy then only it is airborne," he said. He added that it would be premature to reach any conclusion. AN-32 military aircraft went missing on Friday while flying from Chennai to Port Blair with 29 people on board. Meanwhile, the Defence authorities have already informed of the incident to the families of the 6 crew members and the 23 other personnel. A submarine was also rushed to the probable area. The signals of the locator beacon of the aircraft hold the key to the search operation. (ANI)