NEW DELHI: After 10 days of frantic search to locate the missing AN-32 transport aircraft, rescue teams finally reached the crash site in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday morning and confirmed that all 13 personnel on board are dead.
“Eight members of the rescue team have reached the crash site… IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors from the crash of An32,” an IAF spokesperson said.
There were seven officers and six air warriors on board the plane when it went missing in Arunachal Pradesh after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat on June 3 at 12.25 pm. It was headed for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh near China border. The last contact between the aircraft and ground agencies took place at 1255 pm.
IAF Pays tribute to the brave Air-warriors who lost their life during the #An32 crash on 03 Jun 2019 and stands by with the families of the victims. May their soul rest in peace.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 13, 2019
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of AN-32 have been recovered.“After all the remains are recovered, they will be transferred to their parent base at Jorhat. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to probe the cause of accident,” the IAF said.The wreckage of the missing plane was spotted on Tuesday 16 km North of Lipo, at an elevation of 12,000 ft (see pic).
Air warriors who lost their lives
Those who died in the crash are Wing Commander G M Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants L R Thapa, M K Garg, Ashish Tanwar and Sumit Mohanty, Warrant officer K K Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC (leading aircraft man) S K Singh, LAC Pankaj, and non combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali
The wreckage of the missing AN-32 was spotted on Tuesday 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato approximately at an elevation of 12000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.
Following that, a search and rescue mission was launched and on Wednesday that a joint team of 15 mountaineers from the Air Force, Army and the local mountaineers was dropped near to the site. Finally on Thursday morning the eight-member team reached the spot and surveyed the area in search of life.
Initially, the IAF had deployed C-130, AN-32, two Mi-17 helicopters and Army’s ALH helicopters. Later, the Navy’s P8i, UAVs and ISRO joined the search. Arunachal CM Pema Khandu and Chief Secretary Satya Gopal are monitoring the operations.
(With Online Desk inputs)