No News Yet of IAF AN-32 Aircraft That Went Missing With 13 People in Assam, Search Ops Continue
Newly appointed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to the Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force to take stock of the missing aircraft and has been apprised of the steps taken to track it.
New Delhi: An Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft airborne on Monday from Jorhat, Assam and headed towards Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh has reportedly gone missing.
The aircraft took off from Jorhat air base at 12.25 pm and was last contacted by ground agencies at 1 pm following which contact was lost, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. A total of 13 IAF crew members were onboard the aircraft.
Helicopters were routed to the location, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far. IAF is coordinating with the Indian Army as well as various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft.
Newly appointed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to share that he is keeping track of the situation. He says he has spoken to Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force to take stock of the missing aircraft and has been apprised of the steps taken to track it.
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.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 3, 2019
Spokesman of the Defence Ministry, Lieutenant-Colonel P. Khongsai said every effort was being made to locate the missing plane.
All available sources have been employed to locate the aircraft including a C-130, AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopters to carry out aerial searches.
Sources have told CNN News18 that the Mechuka area in Arunachal Pradesh is a very densely forested area. Only an aerial sorty will be able to conclusively establish if there are any survivors.
On the ground, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Border Roads Organisation and the state police have been deployed to carry out search and rescue operations.
The search operations from air and by ground parties of Indian Army are planned to continue through the night.
The Mechuka Advance Landing Ground, where the aircraft was supposed to land, was reactivated on July 12 last year. It was non-functional since 2013.
(With Inputs from Karishma Hasnat)
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