Indian air force says plane goes missing with 29 on board
This file photograph taken on September 6, 2014, shows an Indian air force AN-32 transport aircraft at an air force base in Srinagar. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP)
(AFP) - An Indian Air Force plane carrying 29 people went missing Friday on its way to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, an air force spokesman told AFP.
"A search operation is on. The plane was airborne at 8:30 am (0300 GMT)and was supposed to land at Port Blair at 11:30," Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee said.
The last contact with the plane, which was carrying service personnel and six crew members, was made around 15 minutes after take-off from the southern Indian city of Chennai, the spokesman said.
Surveillance aircraft and navy and coastguard ships have begun searching for the Russian-built AN-32 military transport aircraft, which is believed to have disappeared over the Bay of Bengal.
The Press Trust of India news agency reported AN-32s can fly for four hours without refuelling.
Last year, an Indian Coast Guard plane crashed south of Chennai, killing all three on board.
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