AN-32 aircraft found near Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft had 13 people on board; it had lost contact with the control room in the afternoon of 3 June

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AN-32 wreckage

New Delhi: The wreckage of the AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force was spotted on Tuesday 16 km north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh.

This aircraft was missed before eight days when it went after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat.

The AN-32 had 13 people on board and the IAF said efforts are on to establish the status of the occupants.

“The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone,” the IAF said in a statement.

“Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress,” the IAF said.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft had lost contact with the control room in the afternoon of 3 June after taking off from Jorhat for Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China.

A total of eight aircrews and five passengers were on board the Airbus.

The AN-32 is a twin-engine turboprop transport Airbus and the IAF currently operates a sizeable number of it.

The IAF launched a massive operation to trace the missing Airbus but the search was badly hit by poor weather conditions.

The assets deployed for the operation included Sukhoi-30 Airbus in addition to a fleet of C-130J and AN-32 planes and Mi-17 and ALH helicopters. The ground forces included troops from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police.

IAF officials said the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Cartosat and RISAT satellites were captured images of the area around Mechuka to help the rescuers find the plane.

Earlier, The IAF remains committed to continued efforts to locate it and its brave air warriors. The IAF had flown in search operations. No effort was being spared to locate the missing aircraft,” the statement had added.