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Indian Plane Goes Missing in Bay of Bengal

Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft. (file)

An Indian air force plane carrying 29 people is missing more than 24 hours after it was expected to land on an island in the Bay of Bengal.

Eight of the passengers onboard were civilians.

At least 12 ships and other vessels have been deployed to the Bay of Bengal to search for the missing aircraft.

The AN-32 aircraft took off from the southern city of Chennai around 8 a.m. local time Friday and was expected to land in Port Blair three hours later. Authorities have said the last communication with the pilot was around 15 minutes after it took off.

Russian-made AN-32s are relatively old, and the particular plane in question had suffered three technical problems just this month before it was repaired and cleared to fly Friday, the Times of India reported.

The AN-32 has the capacity to fly four hours without refueling.

The weather at the time of the disappearance is unknown, though it is currently monsoon season in the region, which brings heavy winds and storms to South and Southeast Asia.