IAF's Antonov AN-32 update: Two orange drums found in Bay of Bengal

A Navy Aircraft has detected two orange drums in the Bay of Bengal, reported Times Now, during its search and rescue operations of the Antonov AN-32 aircraft of the IAF that went missing on Friday, over the Bay of Bengal

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in Delhi paying homage to Kargil war martyrs on the 17th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, said that the ministry has put all their resources in trying to find out leads about the missing AN-32 plane.

An AN-32 aircraft of the IAF, with 29 personnel on board, on its way from near Chennai to Port Blair, including four officers, went missing on Friday over the Bay of Bengal. Of the 29 people on board the missing aircraft, six are flight crew members, 12 are IAF personnel, and one each from navy, coast guard and the army, while eight are civilians.

File image of AN-32. YouTube screengrab

File photo of AN-32. Screen grab from YouTube

On Monday, the Lok Sabha expressed concern over the disappearance of the Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft, which went missing on Friday with 29 people on board.

The matter was raised during the Zero Hour and Congress leader of the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, sought a status report from Parrikar on the missing aircraft. The aircraft had not been found until Monday despite an intensive search and rescue operation, called 'Operation Talash'.

Tuesday marks the fifth day of the search for the missing AN-32 aircraft.

At a press conference on Monday, Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba, said a total 250 hours of sorties have been flown in search of the plane, and all leads found are being followed.

"The coordinated efforts between Indian Navy, IAF (Indian Air Force) and Coast Guard is continuing. All together 17 ships and 17-18 aircraft are searching designated areas. Over 250 hours of sorties have been flown," Lanba said.

"We have got inputs from satellite images and also from sensors of the aircraft. All leads have been followed. It is an ongoing search at the moment," the Navy chief said.

The aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 am and was expected to land at Port Blair at 11.30 am.

The recorded transcript of Chennai air traffic radar showed the last pickup of the aircraft was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai when it was observed to have carried out a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet.

A total of 12 naval ships and four Indian Coast Guard vessels, along with 17 aircraft from the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and ICG have been mobilised for this operation.

"The weather improved marginally, thereby aiding thedeployment of additional assets and aiding intensification of the search in a larger area. The sea state, however, continues to be rough, making the conditions challenging," a statement by the Ministry of Defence said.

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Updated Date: Jul 26, 2016 14:30:03 IST

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