The wreckage of an Indian Air Force aircraft, which went missing eight days ago with 13 people on board, was found on Tuesday in Lipo locality of Arunachal Pradesh, official sources said.
The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft lost contact on the afternoon of June 3 after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Mechuka advanced landing ground near the border with China.
The wreckage of the aircraft has been located in an area called Lipo, the sources said.
‘’The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by the #IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone,’’ the IAF said in a tweet.
Efforts are on to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors
The Indian Air Force said that efforts were on to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors.
‘’Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress,’’ the IAF said.
The aircraft had gone missing on June 3 after it took off from Jorhat Air Force Station in Assam at 12:27pm for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground. The aircraft ,carrying six officers, five airmen and two non-combatants (enrolled), was supposed to reach at 1.30pm.
The weather over the region was turbulent on the day and the aircraft’s last contact with ground agencies was at around 1.00pm.
The IAF launched an immediate effort to locate the missing aircraft on June 3 included deployment of C-130, AN-32, two Mi-17 helicopters and Indian Army ALH helicopters.
IAF was joined by the Indian Army, ITBP as well as state government and civil agencies in the search operation.
Indian Navy’s Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i carried out the search with Electro-Optical and Infra-Red (EO & IR) sensors in thickly forested areas between Jorhat and Mechuka, where the AN-32 went missing.
ISRO also deployed CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites to capture images of the area.