New Delhi: There are "unlikely" to be any survivors on board the AN-32 aircraft that went missing over the Bay of Bengal on July 22, the government said in Lok Sabha today.
This is perhaps the first categorical statement by the government on the fate of the 29 people on board the IAF workhorse.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre said during Question Hour that it is "unlikely" that there are any survivors after so many days of the incident.
He was responding to a question by Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai, also an AIADMK member, who insisted that the search for the missing transport aircraft will not stop till its wreckage is found.
The Minister said a variety of aircraft, including helicopters of the air force and coast guard, have been
pressed into service to locate the plane. Merchant vessels and the fishermen community have also been requested to look out for debris.