An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has gone missing after getting airborne from Jorhat at 12.24 pm on Monday. The aircraft has eight crew members and five passengers.
It was headed for the Mechuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border. There has been no contact with ground agencies since its take-off.
The aircraft last contacted ground sources at 1 pm today after taking off from Jorhat airbase at 12:24 pm. The Menchuka area is mountainous and heavily forested and landing is considered difficult, say reports.
In July 2016, another AN 32 transport plane with 29 people on board, including six crew members, on its way from near Chennai to Port Blair, went missing and continues to remain missing.
A massive search and rescue operation had been launched then as well by the IAF, Navy and the Coast Guard, deploying five aircraft and 13 ships
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria regarding the missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours. He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board.”