Despite elaborate search operations, no clue has been found about the AN-32 aircraft with 29 passengers on board, which went missing last week. “Operation Talash,” which was launched to search for the missing aircraft, continued for the fourth day on July 25 in the Bay of Bengal.
Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said there was a coordinated search going on between the Indian Navy, the IAF and the coast guard.
“There are a total of 17 ships, 13 from the Indian Navy and four from the Indian Air Force, including 17 to 18 aircraft, carrying out a coordinated search. The search areas for each has been designated. Together, more than 250 hours of aircraft sorties have been flown,” he said.
Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht said efforts were being made to locate the aircraft. He added help has even been sought from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to get the exact location of the aircraft.
The ISRO’s Indian Mission Control Centre is also contributing its bit to the search operations after satellite images pointed to possible floating objects. The Andaman and Nicobar Command of the defence forces is on the lookout the aircraft even beyond the search zone. “Apart from taking ISRO’s help, we are also reaching out to the concerned families,” he added, as per The Indian Express.
A global safety network has also been activated to alert merchant ships passing by the zone of the search operation to look out for any survivors or the debris.
Meanwhile, the family of the aircraft’ co-pilot Pankaj Nandel is a worried lot. Nandel, who hails from Rohtak, was supposed to tie the knot soon. The Flying Officer’s family in Rohtak is looking forward to his wedding in November when the aircraft went missing.