Missing officers of aircraft crash still not traced

PTI, PANAJI | 26 March 2015 17:42 IST

The two Indian Navy officers who went missing after their aircraft crashed off the Goa coast are yet to be traced even as a full-fledged search and rescue operation is on to find them following the mishap during a training sortie.

INS Makar, a naval hydrographic vessel, has detected a large metallic object using its side-scan sonar and it is being suggested that it could likely be the fuselage of the ill-fated Navy Dornier aircraft. 

Sources have said that the two missing personnel, one of them a woman officer, are of Lieutenant rank. 

"The depth in that area is about 50-60 metres. INS Matanga with naval divers has embarked already to the area. Everything would be confirmed once the cameras are lowered," Navy sources said. 

The maritime surveillance aircraft had crashed south-west off Goa coast on Tuesday night at 2208 hours. 

Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, who was flying the aircraft and has 4,000 flying hours to his credit, was rescued about an hour after the crash by a fishing vessel. 

Presently, there are 12 ships, including two of Indian Coast Guard, and four aircraft involved in the search and rescue operations. 

A Board of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident.

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