There were no survivors among the 13 people on board the fated An-32 aircraft which went off the radar 33 minutes after taking off on June 3, confirmed the Indian Air Force. The aircraft with all 13 on board had lost contact after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Mechuka advanced landing ground near the border with China.
Following the disappearance, a massive search operation had been launched to trace the missing aircraft. The IAF had also declared a Rs 5 lakh reward to anyone providing information about the An-32 transport aircraft’s location.
The missing aircraft’s wreckage was found on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet in the Payu region of Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district. IAF’s rescue personnel had attempted to reach the crash site, but had to abort due to the difficult terrain and inclement weather.
Wing Commander and IAF spokesman Ratnakar Singh had said the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted 16 km 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. “Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors, Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress.”
Common men, army, Indo-Tibetian Border Police, Indian Navy, ISRO, state police and district administration as well as local communities were part of the search operations. Sukhoi-30 aircraft in addition to a fleet of C-130J and An-32 planes and Mi-17 and ALH helicopters were deployed for the rescue operation.