Intensifying rescue operation, IAF successfully airdrop team near AN-32 crash, searching for ‘possible survivors’

After eight days of rigorous attempts, the Indian Air Force was successful in finding the missing AN-32 transport aircraft. After enabling the details of the aircraft, the Indian Air Force focussed attention on finding the possible survivors as the transport aircraft was spotted in hilly terrain in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday. Intensifying the rescue mission, the IAF was successful in air dropping 8-10 personnel near the crash site of the An-32 aircraft through two helicopter sorties.

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Moving towards the location, the air-dropped teams have started looking for the wreckage of the An-32 to search for more wreckage and possible survivors. The discovery of the wreckage of the IAF plane was made eight days after exhaustive search-and-rescue operations were conducted for the missing aircraft which had 13 people on board.

Mountaineering teams of the IAF, including Garud commandos, mountaineers and other ground forces were airdropped from helicopters at the site of the wreckage which has been spotted at 12,000 feet altitude will today to continue the search of the wreckage area and to look for possible survivors. Mi17s and Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) of the Indian Army were used in the rescue operations today.

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The An-32 had taken off from Assam’s Jorhat base at around 12:30 pm on June 3, with six officers and seven other personnel on board.

The aircraft was supposed to land at Menchuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Shi Yomi district in an hour’s time. However, half an hour after takeoff, the aircraft lost contact with the ground staff. The mountain terrain remains inaccessible, sources said. The Mi-17 chopper of the IAF had spotted the wreckage site yesterday.

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The officers on board the An-32 were Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants Mohit Garg, Sumit Mohanty, Ashish Tanwar and Rajesh Thapa. Other officials on board the ill-fated plane were Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop, Corporal Sharin, airmen Pankaj Sangwan and SK Singh and non-combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali.


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