Lucknow, June 13: The black box of the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft has been found, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said in a statement issued on Thursday. The dead bodies of all 13 onboard have been retrieved, it added. Choppers will be used by the Air Force to sent the mortal remains to the respective beraeved families.
"IAF pays tribute to the brave Air-warriors who lost their life during the AN-32 crash on June 3 and stands by with the families of the victims. May their soul rest in peace," an IAF spokesperson said. IAF AN-32 Aircraft Crash: Names Of Indian Air Force Air Warriors Who Lost Their Lives
Those who died in the crash are Wing Commander G M Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants L R Thapa, MK Garg, Ashish Tanwar and Sumit Mohanty, Warrant officer K K Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC (leading aircraft man) S K Singh, LAC Pankaj, and non combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali.
The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost contact around half-an-hour after taking off.
The wreckage of the plane was spotted by an IAF chopper on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 ft near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts, after eight days of a massive search operation involving a fleet of aircraft and choppers as well as ground forces.
A 15-member team of rescuers were sent look for survivors in the accident Wednesday and eight of them reached the crash site on Thursday morning, an IAF official said.
(With PTI inputs)