Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday met family members of a few employees of the Naval Armament Depot (NAD) who were aboard the Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft which went missing over the Bay of Bengal on Friday.
Naidu visited the houses of N. Chinna Rao and P. Nagendra Rao, and comforted their family members. The Chief Minister told them that the defence authorities were making all efforts to trace the aircraft. Eight employees of NAD, Visakhapatnam, were among the 29 people aboard the AN-32 aircraft which disappeared minutes after it took off from Tambaram Air Force base in Chennai.
The IAF transport aircraft was on its way to Port Blair. The NAD technicians were going to carry out repair and maintenance work of Close Range Naval (CRN-91) gun on board INS Battimalv. The NAD employees aboard the missing aircraft are chargeman B. Samba Murthy, armament fitters Nagendra Rao, R.V. Prasad Babu, P. Chandra Senapati, Charan Maharana, trademan mates Chinna Rao and G. Srinivas Rao and examiner Bupender Singh.
The Chief Minister said he spoke to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, who informed him that the efforts to trace the aircraft had been intensified. “It's a very unfortunate incident. Efforts are being made to trace. Once we get some information, we will share the same with their families," he told reporters.
Naidu assured the families that the government would stand by them in these difficult times and would extend all possible assistance. “We will decide once we get some information," he said when asked about the help to be given to the families of NAD employees. He pointed out that both Chinna Rao and Nagendra Rao came from poor families. Nagendra Rao's father sold snacks to make a living and educate his son.