IAF authorities fear the AN-32 plane may have crashed. Wing Commander P Sahu, the IAF spokesman said that a N-32 plane had flown from Dibrugarh in Assam to Mechuka in Arunachal from where it took off again with the civilians for Jorhat at around 2 pm, after which the aircraft went missing.
He added that an aerial search operation is on, over the thick forest and mountains of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Bhutan where the plane might have crashed. But so far no wreckage or bodies could be located. The Army and Paramilitary personnel resumed the search on Wednesday, Jun 10.
Indian Air Force acquired the Russian made transport aircraft in 1980s. It is considered a safe aircraft. The last crash involving an AN-32 was at Delhi in 1999.
The IAF spokesperson refused to divulge the details of the crew on board. But there are reports that the crew comprised of some senior including squadron leaders.