After locating what has been reportedly confirmed as the debris of the missing IAF’s courier flight AN-32, search operations have been intensified in the said area.
In a major breakthrough in the case of the missing flight, domestic research vessel Samudra Ratnakar, in its geological survey, had found debris, what was initially suspected and later appeared to be that of AN-32.
The Coast Guard is coordinating the search operations for the AN-32 aircraft which went off radar 16 minutes after taking off from nearby Tambaram airbase on its way to Port Blair on July 22.
Several agencies, including National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (NCOIS), were coordinating in the search operations.
The search teams have now divided the ocean floor into various slots and all ships engaged in the operation have been allotted areas to try to locate the missing aircraft.
The search has also moved underwater after scouring the ocean floor did not yield any results.
Searchers fear that the 27 tonne plane may have sunk to the sea bed, making any recovery almost impossible. The AN32 transporter had veered to the left before plunging and disappearing. Officials involved in the search told ET that the mission had not been called, off only scaled down.
The five ships, including two civilian deep-sea search vessels, are concentrating on the area where the radar recorded the plane’s steep drop.