As intensified search operations continued for the missing Dornier aircraft of Indian Coast Guard with three crew members, a Tamil Nadu fisherman today claimed he saw some ‘burning object’ falling into sea off a nearby coast last night.
“I saw a burning object falling into the sea and the site was some 25 nautical miles off Reddychavady/Krimambakkam villages on Puducherry-Cuddalore route around 11 pm last night,” fisherman Mukesh told reporters at the District Headquarters of Coast Guard office here.
35-year old Mukesh, of Sonankuppam fishing hamlet in Cuddalore district in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, was speaking after briefing Coast Guard Commandant M Somasundaram about his claim. He was brought to the Coast Guard office by Police.
The burning object looked like `ball of fire’, he said.
The commandant told reporters that the details furnished by Mukesh could be ‘a lead for us’ (in the search operations), but declined to take any questions.
The Dornier surveillance aircraft with three crew members, on a routine patrol, went missing last night after it lost radar contact at 9.23 PM.
It was last located about 16 nautical miles off the coast of Chidambaram, somewhere between Cuddalore and Karaikal.
Mukesh said he and two other fishermen Raman and Raju were engaged in fishing off the coast of Puducherry last night when they saw the object falling.
On returning home this morning, he saw news channels carrying a report on missing Coast Guard aircraft and immediately informed local panchayat leader Narayanan about the incident which he witnessed.
Narayanan took him to the office of Superintendent of Police in Cuddalore following which he was brought to the Coast Guard office here, police said.