Airline Safety
The eight people were employees of the Naval Armament Depot (NAD) in Vizag.
From left: Chinna Rao, G Srinivas Rao and Charan Maharana

Eight of those on board an Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 transport aircraft which went missing over Bay of Bengal on Friday were officials from the Naval Armament Depot (NAD) in Vizag.

These employees of NAD were among 29 persons on board the aircraft, which was on its way to Port Blair, but went missing, soon after it took off from the Tambaram Air Force base in Chennai.

The families are worried over the fate of their loved ones and are anxiously waiting for some information from the ongoing search operations.

Those missing include NAD chargeman Sambamurthy, armament fitters Prasad Babu, Nagendra Rao, Senapati, Maharana, Chinna Rao and multi-tasking employee Srinivas Rao.

Quoting sources, the Times of India reported that Chinna Rao and Nagendra Rao belong to Bucchirajupalem in the city while Srinivasa Rao is from Vepagunta. Prasada Babu is a resident of a colony near KGH in Vizag while Maharana and Senapati hail from Orissa and examiner Bupender Singh from the north of India.

The New Indian Express reported:

The eight member team started from Visakhapatnam on July 20 and reached Chennai at around 8 am the next day. The employees were assigned to fix the routine defect rectification in weapon CRN-91 in INS Battimalv, which is in Port Blair.

Chinna Rao's family members said the naval officials informed them about the missing aircraft around 3.30 pm. They were told that search operations were launched to trace the plane.

"Since then, there is no information," his son said.

Rao had called his family on Thursday night to inform that he will be leaving for Port Blair along with others for routine maintenance work.

The women members of Chinna Rao's family were seen crying as local political leaders visited the house to console them.

Officials said a massive search and rescue operation involving aircraft, helicopters, ships and a submarine was launched and will continue through the night.

 

(With IANS inputs)