Search continues for missing Dornier aircraft

Chennai, June 10 (IANS) The search for the missing Indian Coast Guard’s Dornier aircraft is still continuing with no signals from the missing plane, said an official here on Wednesday.

Speaking to IANS, an official said: “The search is continuing. The status quo is still continuing. All the crew members were in thirties.”

He said further addition of ships and aircrafts for search operations will be considered on Wednesday.

The Coast Guard’s aircraft with three crew members aboard had gone missing near Karaikal in Puducherry on Monday night.

The crew included Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar piloting the aircraft, his co-pilot and Deputy Commandant M.K. Soni and navigator/observer Subash Suresh.

The missing aircraft was deployed for surveillance along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay. It took off from Chennai airport around 6 p.m. on Monday for a surveillance sortie but did not return.

An official statement issued on Tuesday said the last contact with the aircraft was made at 9 p.m. on Monday.

The last known location of the aircraft, as per Trichy radar, was off Karaikal in Puducherry, where it was tracked till 9.23 p.m., 95 nautical miles south of Chennai.

A Coast Guard official told IANS on Tuesday night that no signal including sonar have been obtained.

“The aircraft was the latest induction in the Coast Guard inventory in 2014 and was being flown by highly experienced crew,” an official statement said.

An extensive search is being carried out by five ships of the Coast Guard and four of the Indian Navy.

Two long-range maritime surveillance aircraft P8Is were also involved in the search operation.

The latest incident comes months after a Dornier-228 of the Indian Navy with three crew members went down in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Goa.

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