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Operation on to retrieve helicopter wreckage in Arunachal

By Ians English

Itanagar, July 6: A search and rescue team in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday resumed the operation to retrieve the wreckage of the missing Indian Air Force helicopter and the four bodies near it, police said.

A police official said two of the bodies are identifiable but the other two were charred beyond recognition.

Image for representation only

"A team comprising Arunachal Police, Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel along with local volunteers resumed their search and rescue operation at 4 a.m., to retrieve the bodies to upper ground," Inspector General of Police, Law and Order, Nabin Payeng told IANS.

The wreckage and the bodies were found on Wednesday in Sopho Yuha, near Hostallam village, about 30 km from Itanagar.

Tezpur-based defence spokesperson, Lt Col Sombit Ghosh said that an IAF search and rescue ground party team has also left for the wreckage site.

Wing Commander M.S. Dhillon, Flight Lieutenant P.K. Singh, Flight Engineer Sergeant Gujjar and Indian Reserve Battalion member Nada Umbing had boarded the helicopter from Pilputu Helipad near Sagalee on Tuesday.

The Advanced Light Helicopter engaged in flood rescue mission in the state went missing at 3.50 p.m.

The helicopter was evacuating people stranded in Sagalee and Dambuk areas due to massive landslides caused by heavy rain.

Papum Pare district official J Pertin said the helicopter had made five sorties since it arrived there at around 10.30 am on Tuesday morning.

"In the sixth sortie to Naharlagun, for unknown reason, the crew did not take the last batch of nine civilians and took off from Sagalee with just one policeman, who was deployed to help the two crew members and then went missing," Pertin told IANS.


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