Itanagar, June 12: The Indian Army along with the local Arunachal Scouts are all set to move towards the crash site to look for the 13 passengers on board the Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 aircraft that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3. According to an official, the IAF will rush to the site on Wednesday with aid and assistance to establish the status of the 13 occupants of missing plane. According to a latest update, the rescue operation by helicopters has commenced at the crash site. Mi17s, & Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of Indian Army are being utilised. AN-32 Aircraft Located: Rescue Operation by Helicopters Will Commence Tomorrow Early Morning, Says IAF.
On Tuesday, the IAF said it had spotted the wreckage of the missing AN-32 aircraft 16-km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato. "The wreckage of the missing An-32 transporter aircraft has been spotted at Lipo, northeast of Tato, at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by the IAF Mi17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh told IANS. Singh had said that the next effort of the IAF is to get to the wreckage site to establish the status of the occupants and search for the black box and CVR of the ill-fated aircraft with tail number K-2752.
According to a report by IANS, Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (APEDA) Deputy Director Somar Potom, who has been deputed by the West Siang District administration to be part of the search operation, said that though the wreckage site has been spotted, he along with IAF officers have left for a close, final survey.
The IAF, on June 8, had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for any information leading to the location of the missing aircraft. To trace the plane, the IAF had pressed into service a SU-30 jet fighter, C130 J, Mi17 and ALH helicopters to trace the missing Russian-origin transporter aircraft. The others to join the search operation included two Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites -- CARTOSAT and RISAT along with the Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i also conducted an aerial survey to locate the partly upgraded AN-32 aircraft.
It was on June 3 that the Russian-origin AN-32 transporter took off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China. The plane lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 p.m.