Chennai, July 14 (IANS) Human remains and personal items of the crew were recovered from the seabed along with the wreckage of the Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft that plunged into the sea on June 8, an official said on Tuesday.
“Human remains and wrist watches of the crew have been recovered from the seabed. The human remains would be sent for DNA analysis for identification purposes,” Inspector General of Police (Eastern Region) Satya Prakash Sharma told reporters here.
He said search operations were called off as most aircraft parts have been recovered.
He said the human remains would be sent to the Tamil Nadu Forensic Science Department for DNA tests, and the flight data recorder or black box and other recovered items to the board of inquiry to ascertain the cause of the mishap.
According to Sharma, the aircraft seems to have exploded in mid-air and crashed into the sea.
The human remains and a wrist watch of one of the crew members was found near the wreckage during Monday night’s search, the IGP said.
The Dornier aircraft with deputy commandant Vidyasagar (pilot), deputy commandant Subash Suresh (co-pilot) and navigator/observer M.K. Soni went missing on the night of June 8 while returning to its base at Chennai airport after a surveillance sortie along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay.
The search operations drew a blank for a long time and the Coast Guard requested agencies in the US, Canada, Australia and Japan to help find the probable location of the missing aircraft.
According to Sharma, the foreign agencies had validated the search area of the Coast Guard.
The aircraft was flying at around 9,000 feet when it dropped about 5,000 feet in a few seconds on June 8.
Sharma earlier told IANS that it was not possible for the aircraft to come out of the dive due to the speed at which it came down.
According to him, the black box data was expected to point out the cause of the mishap.