The Indian Air Force's Mi-17 helicopters found the wreckage of the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh's Siang district on Tuesday. The debris was spotted 16 km north of Lipo, and northeast of Tato in Arunachal Pradesh, at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft, confirmed the IAF.
The transport aircraft had gone off radar on June 3 after it took off from Jorhat Air Force Station in Assam at 12:27 pm for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft went incommunicado at 1 pm. The aircraft carrying six officers, five airmen and two non-combatants (enrolled) was supposed to reach Menchuka at 1.30 pm.
The IAF in a press release said that efforts were continuing to establish the status of the people on board the aircraft. Further details would be communicated as the rescue mission progresses, it added.
The IAF launched intense search operations to locate the missing aircraft deploying C-130, AN-32, two Mi-17 helicopters and Indian Army ALH helicopters. The IAF was joined by the Indian Army, ITBP as well as state government and civil agencies.
Later, Indian Navy’s Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles also joined the rescue mission.
The IAF had also deployed CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites to capture images of the area.
Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants & establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 11, 2019
Earlier in July 2016, another AN-32 had gone down into the Bay of Bengal with its 29 passengers onboard. It was going from Chennai to Port Blair. Russian manufactured AN-32s were inducted in early 80s and around 100 are serving with the Air Force.
(With inputs from online desk)