The wreckage of missing Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 people on board was found in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district on Tuesday.
All the 13 personnel on board an AN-32 transport aircraft that crashed in a heavily forested mountainous area in Arunachal Pradesh 10 days back were killed, the Indian Air Force said on Thursday.
The aircraft went missing on the afternoon of June 3, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
After eight days of a massive search operation, 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.
The “black box” of the aircraft has been recovered from the crash site and it will help the investigators reconstruct the events leading to the crash.
Those killed were Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenant MK Garg, Flight Lieutenant S Mohanty, Flight Lieutenant A Tanwar, Flight Lieutenant R Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, Leading Aircraftman SK Singh and Leading Aircraftman Pankaj.
Two non-combatants Putali and Rajesh Kumar also died in the crash.
IAF is making all efforts to recover the mortal remains. No effort is being spared in ensuring expeditious transfer of the mortal remains of the air-warriors to their parent base at Jorhat.
The IAF launched an extensive search operation involving a fleet of C-130J, Su-30 and AN-32 aircraft. A fleet of Mi-17 and ALH helicopters had also joined the search operation.
Thick vegetation and inhospitable terrain coupled with inclement weather had adversely affected the aerial search operation.
After the wreckage was spotted, helicopters were sent but they could not land as the crash site has a steep slope and thick forest.
Two km from the designated crash site, an area was designated and a camp was established for helicopters to land with the recovery parties.
On Jun 12, a team of nine IAF personnel, four Army Special Forces personnel and two local mountaineers were dropped at the campsite. Eight of them trekked to the crash site on Friday and they found that all the 13 people on board the plane did not survive the accident.
Several politicians, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, offered their condolences to the families of the dead