No wreckage sighted so far, says IAF on missing An-32 aircraft
Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday said while reports of possible location of the crash site were received, no wreckage of the An-32 transport aircraft which went missing earlier in the day in Arunachal Pradesh has not been sighted so far.
“Some reports of possible location of the crash site were received, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far,” IAF said in a series of tweets.
“IAF is coordinating with the Indian Army, various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft. Search operations will continue from the air and by ground parties of Indian Army through the night. Efforts are on to establish the whereabouts of the aircraft,” it added.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been apprised of the situation by the Vice-Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria. Air Marshal also informed the minister about the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft.
“Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria regarding the missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours. He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board,” Singh who is on an official visit to Kashmir said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, an IAF An-32 transport aircraft with 13 personnel including seven officers and six air warriors on board went missing in Arunachal Pradesh after getting air-borne from Assam’s Jorhat.
The aircraft took off from Jorhat at 1225 hours and was headed for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh. The last contact between the aircraft and ground agencies took place at 1300 hours.
Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft, C-130J Special Operations aircraft, An-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 and two Indian Army ALH helicopters have been deployed on a search mission to locate the missing IAF AN-32.
The IAF has also launched ground troops for locating the aircraft and the personnel on board.
The Soviet-era aircraft was inducted into the Air Force in the 1980s and have been undergoing upgrades. The missing plane is not part of the upgraded An-32 fleet of the Air Force.
Three years ago, on July 22, 2016, an An-32 aircraft of the IAF had gone missing in the air with 29 people on board. The aircraft was travelling from Chennai to Port-Blair in Andaman and Nicobar when it went missing over the Bay of Bengal.(ANI)