The 29 people on board the AN-32 plane that went missing over the Bay of Bengal on 22 July have been “presumed dead” and their families informed, Indian Air Force officials said on Thursday.
Officials from both IAF and Navy however, said that search for debris of the ill-fated aircraft will continue.
The AN-32, which was going to Port Blair from Chennai, had on board six crew members, 15 personnel from the IAF, army, navy and Coast Guard, and eight civilians who were family members of the personnel.
“The families have been informed, but the search still continues,” Indian Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee said.
“Search for the AN-32 is still in progress with ships from National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) and Geological Survey of India, Samudra Ratnakar and Sagar Nidhi,” a Navy official said.
The official the Navy, IAF, and Coast Guard are all making efforts to search for the missing plane.
The aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 am, and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 am, in what officials said was a “routine sortie”.