New Delhi: A little over a week since it went missing on June 3, parts of the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft have been found north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh. Search for survivors would be done on Wednesday.
ANI quoted IAF sources as confirming the wreckage is that of the missing aircraft. IAF said Mi-17 helicopters spotted the wreckage 16 kms north of Lipo, North East of Tato, at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft.
IAF said, “Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress.”
IAF said it would air drop search teams, including Garud commandos, IAF mountaineers and other ground forces on Wednesday morning to search the area for more wreckage of and possible survivors.
AN-32 with 13 people onboard last contacted ground sources from Arunachal Pradesh last Monday. The location of the parts of aircraft is 15-20 kilometres north of the flight path of the aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh. Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper teams were involved in this mission.
The IAF had even announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for any person(s) or group for providing credible information that would help in locating the missing aircraft. The announcement was made by Air Marshal RD Mathur, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command.
Of the 13 people on board, eight were crew members and five armed forces personnel. As per reports, the Russian-made plane, which was en route to Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh from Jorhat in Assam, went missing 33 minutes after it’s take off at 12.27 PM.
IAF put all its assets to use and even took the help of the Army, Arunachal Pradesh civil authorities and other national agencies to locate the missing aircraft, stated Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh, also the Defense PRO of Shillong.