Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Lok Sabha on Thursday that there is no concrete evidence so far with respect to missing AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Parrikar said that the search efforts are focused on the surface as well as the underwater domain to look for survivors and debris.
An international safety network has been activated to alert merchant ships passing the zone of search to look out for any survivors or debris.
“Three oil slicks, five transmission intercepts and 24 floating objects have been thoroughly investigated by ships and aircraft, without any concrete evidence emerging with respect to the missing IAF AN-32, till date,” informed the minister.
He said that ongoing search is also being supplemented by the use of Indian satellites, such as Cartosat 2A and 2B, which can cover swathes as big as 22×27 km and have resolutions of 0.8 km.
The search and rescue operations to locate the missing aircraft by ships and aircrafts of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Navy and the Air Force continued for the seventh consecutive day on Thursday. As many as 11 air sorties (three Coast Guard, three Navy, five IAF) were planned today for sea-air coordinated search.
The plane with 29 people on board, including six crew had gone missing shortly after taking off from Chennai for Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 22 July.