Wreckage of the missing AN-32 aircraft found in Arunachal after 8 days

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has spotted the wreckage of the missing AN-32 jet that went off the radar on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh.

The IAF has confirmed that wreckage of the missing AN-32 was spotted north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh.

In a statement on Twitter, IAF said, “The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today 16 km North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by the #IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.”

The statement, however, makes no mention of the 13 personnel who were travelling in the ill-fated IAF jet.

Intense search operations have been going on in the area ever since the IAF jet went missing last week.

Family members of the missing personnel who were travelling onboard the jet have been stationed in Assam in anticipation of any news about the jet or its passengers.

According to news agency ANI, parts of the aircraft were located 15-20 km north of the flight path of the An-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh. IAF chopper teams were involved in this mission.

Bad weather had stalled aerial search operations for the missing jet for two days early this week while ground operations continued in the mountainous area.

The Russian-origin An-32 aircraft with 13 people on board lost contact on Monday afternoon after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Mechuka advanced landing ground near the border with China.

The IAF on Saturday announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone providing information about the location of the An-32 transport aircraft.

Resources from various agencies including Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) were brought in to enhance the effectiveness of the search operations.

The assets deployed for the rescue operation included Sukhoi-30 aircraft in addition to a fleet of C-130J and An-32 planes and Mi-17 and ALH helicopters. Apart from that ground forces included troops from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police. Isro’s Cartosat and RISAT satellites were also used to take images of the area around Menchuka.

As per IAF officials, efforts are on establish a ground link and to establish the whereabouts of the missing crew members.

The An-32 is a twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft and the IAF currently operates a sizeable number of it. The IAF launched a massive operation to trace the missing aircraft but the search was badly hit by poor weather conditions.