IAF’s An-32 Crash ends Young Navy Man’s Dream

During his growing up days, Purnachandra Senapati had only one aim, to provide his mother and siblings with a better life.

He had seen his mother toil to make ends meet and feed her three sons and daughter. Determined to stand by his family, Purnachandra joined the Indian Navy in 2014.

But on July 22, his dream met an untimely end. The 28-year-old Purnachandra from Rangaranga village in Jajpur district was among the 29 on board the Indian Air Force’s AN- 32 aircraft that disappeared on its way from Chennai to Port Blair.

On Thursday, 56 days after the plane went missing, the Indian Air Force informed the families of those on board that they have been ‘presumed dead’.

With this, all prayers of the Senapati family have come to nought. “On Friday we came to know from media reports that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has officially announced that my brother along with others has died in the place crash on July 22. But nobody from the IAF or Navy informed us about the death of Purnachandra. My brother had joined Indian Navy in 2014 as a technician at Visakhapatnam. I never thought I would ever have to come across such a tragedy,”said Prakash, the younger brother of Purnachandra.

Purnachandra worked as an armament fitter at the Naval Armament Depot (NAD) in Visakhapatnam. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed on Friday as family members and people from surrounding areas mourned the death of the village youth.

His 52-year-old mother, Ujali, was a picture of shock and disbelief.
“My tears are drying up. I’m a broken woman. Purnachandra was my eldest son and the sole bread winner. My husband Suryamani died 12 years back leaving behind three sons and daughter. I did hard work to provide education for all my children,” she said.

 Tears were rolling down the cheeks of many villagers including children after the death of Purnachandra was officially declared.

Sarojini (22), the sister of Purnachandra, could not hold back her tears. “We waited for 56 agonizing days after the plane went missing. We were praying for the safe return of my brother. But cruel fate snatched away my brother from us. We are frustrated by the lack of clear information about the missing plane from the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. We need to know the truth about the missing plane. This is such a hard situation for the family,” sobbed Sarojini.

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