AN-32 – Eight from Vizag aboard missing aircraft

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Visakhapatnam, July 22 (IANS) Eight of those on board an Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 transport aircraft which went missing over Bay of Bengal on Friday were from Visakkhapatnam.

These employees of Naval Armament Depot (NAD) were among 29 persons on board the aircraft, which was on its way to Port Blair, but went missing, soon after it took off from the Tambaram Air Force base in Chennai.

The families were worried over the fate of their loved ones and were anxiously waiting for some information from the ongoing search operations.

Those missing include NAD chargeman Sambamurthy, armament fitters Prasad Babu, Nagendra Rao, Senapati, Maharana, Chinna Rao and multi-tasking employee Srinivas Rao.

Chinna Rao’s family members said the naval officials informed them about the missing aircraft around 3.30 p.m. They were told that search operations were launched to trace the plane. “Since then, there is no information,” his son said.

Rao had called his family on Thursday night to inform that he will be leaving for Port Blair along with others for routine maintenance work.

The women members of Chinna Rao’s family were seen crying as local political leaders visited the house to console them.

Officials said a massive search and rescue operation involving aircraft, helicopters, ships and a submarine was launched and will continue through the night.

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