September 22, 2019 | 3:32 AM IST

Wreckage of An-32 found; IAF searches for survivors

The wreckage of An-32 aircraft that went missing on June 3 has been spotted 16 kilometers north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh, informed the Indian Air Force on Tuesday. The wreckage was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter at a height of around 12,000 feet in Payum Circle of Siang district. 

The IAF tweeted on Tuesday, “The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today 16 kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by the #IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.”  

It also said, “Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors.”

The IAF deployed a C-130J aircraft, two SU-30MKI fighter aircrafts, a P8i long-range reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy from Tamil Nadu, three Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), four MI-17 helicopters and two Cheetah helicopters. The IAF also deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ISRO satellites, foot patrols of the army, Assam Rifles, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Arunachal police and taking help of local villagers. About 1500 soldiers in all were involved in the search operations. The IAF has been in touch with all families of those on board regarding the rescue operation. IAF officials said ISRO’s cartosat and RISAT satellites are taking images of the area around Menchuka to help rescuers find the plane, said a report.

The Russian-made aircraft was carrying eight crew members and five armed forces personnel on board, and it had lost contact with the ground control before it went off radar. It was on its way to Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachl Pradesh from Jorhat in Assam and went missing 33 minutes after takeoff at 12.27 am. 

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