New Delhi: A transport plane of the Indian Air Force with 29 people on board went missing on Friday while flying from Tambaram in Chennai to Port Blair.
Those on board included six crew members.
The AN-32 aircraft took off at 8:30 am from Tambaram and the last contact with it was made 16 minutes later, news agency PTI quoted defence sources as saying.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said efforts are on to trace the IAF AN 32 aircraft.
Tamil Nadu Coastal Security Group has deployed 12 fast moving interceptors from Chennai to Rameshwaram region to assist in search operations.
The aircraft can fly for up to four hours without refuelling.
A major search and rescue operation has been launched by the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal.
Indian Navy has launched one submarine for underwater detection of any transmission or signal of missing IAF aircraft AN-32.
Navy officials said a P-8I surveillance aircraft, a Dornier and four ships had been deployed in the search and rescue operation.
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) July 22, 2016
Officials said it was a "courier flight" with service personnel on board.