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Missing Indian Air Force Plane With 29 Aboard Now Search-Rescue Mission

Image: Missing Indian Air Force Plane With 29 Aboard Now Search-Rescue Mission
An Indian air force Sukhoi 30MKI figther takes off 06 February 2005 from the Yehlanka airforce base on the outskirts of Bangalore. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 22 Jul 2016 12:27 PM

A missing Indian Air Force transport plane is the subject of a search in the Bay of Bengal after authorities believe it may have fallen out of the sky 23,000 feet with 29 people on board Friday.

The AN-32 transport plane departed from the Tambaram Air Force Station in southern India about 8:30 a.m. local time Friday and disappeared from radar at 9:12 a.m., about 174 miles east of Chennai, according to India's NDTV.

The Daily Mail reported that the airplane was scheduled to land at Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, around 11:30 a.m. Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee said the plane made last contact 15 minutes after takeoff.

"All efforts are being made to trace the missing plane and the service personnel on board," India's defense minister Manohar Parrikar told NDTV. The pilot reported "everything is normal" in its last contact.

The television network stated more than 12 Navy and Coast Guard ships have been directed to the Bay of Bengal along with a submarine to search for the transport plane.

Officials told Reuters that the passengers on the airplane during what was called a "routine courier mission" include 21 military personnel and six crew and civilians, including family members of soldiers deployed to the islands.

Reuters reported that in recent years the Indian military has been building up its presence in the Andamans, about 750 nautical miles from mainland India. The Andaman and Nicobar islands are in the vicinity of the Malacca Straits, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes linking the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and East Asia.

Since 1984, the Antonov AN-32 has been used by the Indian Air Force as a tactical transport aircraft, according to The Indian Express. All AN-32 aircraft are expected to be upgraded by 2016, before eventually being replaced by the Indo-Russian Multi-role transport aircraft Il-214.

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A missing Indian Air Force transport plane is the subject of a search in the Bay of Bengal after authorities believe it may have fallen out of the sky 23,000 feet with 29 people on board Friday.
missing, indian, air force, plane
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2016-27-22
Friday, 22 Jul 2016 12:27 PM
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