Over 24 hours after it went missing over the Bay of Bengal, there has been no sign of the Indian Airforceâ€™s AN-32 aircraft.
According to a media release by the Indian Coast Guard on Saturday, search and rescue operations are continuing, but no signs of either debris or survivors have been found so far.
The aircraft, which left Tambaram at around 8.30 am on Friday, went missing about an hour into its flight to Port Blair. It was carrying 29 people on board.
â€śDespite extremely rough weather, extensive search operations are underway and continuous sea air coordinated search are being conducted in close coordination with aircraft from Indian Airforce and search units of the Indian Navy. Nil debris / survivor have been sighted. All out efforts are underway to locate missing aircraft,â€ť the release said.
After the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Chennai, received information from the Flight Information Centre that the aircraft that gone missing, it began to coordinate search operations, the release said.
A CG Dornier aircraft was despatched to the site of the last known location of the missing aircraft. Five IC ships â€“ ICGS Sagar, ICGS Samudra Paheredar, ICGS Vishwast, ICGS Rajshree, and ICGS Rajveer â€“ where asked to assist in the operations.
The MRCC activated the International Safety Net message for all vessels in the area to keep a lookout for the aircraft. Merchant ship Harshavardhan en route from Port Blair to Chennai was asked to go to the site as it was closest to the last known location of the missing aircraft.
The National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad is providing satellite images while the National Centre for Ocean Information Services has been requested to estimate a probable search area through computer-aided methods.
Minister for Defence Manohar Parrikar took an aerial survey of the area in the Bay over which the aircraft went missing.