Uttarakshi, July 21: A team of mountaineers found the wreckage of an AN-12 aircraft of the Indian Air Force, crashed in 1968, and body of one of the 102 soldiers on board at Dhaka glacier in Himachal Pradesh. The plane crashed in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh while flying from Chandigarh to Leh on February 7, 1968.
“We first found some parts of the aircraft. Subsequently, our team members spotted the decayed body of a soldier a metres away from the spot,” Rajeev Rawat, who was leading a team of 11 climbers on the cleanliness expedition, told Times of India. The climbers alerted the Army on July 16 about the discovery.
The Soviet Union-built aircraft had gone missing when the pilot had decided to turn back while approaching Leh due to bad weather. There were 98 passengers and four crew members onboard. A team of mountaineers from the ABV Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports had found some parts of the plane in 2003.
They had also found the remains of a body, subsequently identified as Sepoy Beli Ram, an Army man who was on the flight. Three more bodies were recovered in 2007 by an Indian Army expedition code-named Operation Punaruthan-II. Only five bodies were recovered between 2003 and 2017. It is believed that bodies other victims may also be lying in the area.