AN-32 wreckage found: IAF to air drop teams today to look for missing personnel
New Delhi, June 11: Although the wreckage of the AN-32 transport aircraft was spotted in Arunachal Pradesh today, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has not been able to send any personnel to the site to find out what happened to 13 people who were onboard the ill-fated plane.
The plane's wreckage was located eight days after it went missing with 13 people on board, shortly after take-off from Jorhat in Assam. The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today, 16 km North of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh, by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter.
Due to high elevation and dense forest, helicopters could not land next to the crash site, IAF said.
"IAF to air drop search teams,including Garud commandos, IAF mountaineers and other ground forces tomorrow morning to search the area for more wreckage of AN-32 Aircraft and possible survivors of the 13 personnel who were on-board it," an IAF statement said on June 11.
"However, nearest landing site has been identified & the rescue operation by helicopters will commence tomorrow early morning. Ground forces will continue to reach the crash site during the night," it further said.
So far, there is no news on the 13 people, including eight crew members, on board the aircraft. The IAF earlier said the effort now was to establish the "status of occupants and survivors".
The disappearance of the Soviet-origin aircraft led to a massive aerial search operation involving helicopters, Sukhois, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, navy's P-81 aircraft and night missions by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Sensors belonging to the technical intelligence gathering agency, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), were also put to use.
The wreckage has been found in Payum Circle of Siang district. It was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force. The ground forces included troops from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police.