Eight days on, AN-32 de­bris lo­cated in NE

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Su­mit Ku­mar Singh singh.su­[email protected]­dia.net

New Delhi: Eight days after the dis­ap­pear­ance of a Sovi­etera IAF plane car­ry­ing 13 peo­ple trig­gered a mas­sive co­or­di­nated search op­er­a­tion, its de­bris of the Antonov AN-32 mil­i­tary trans­port craft was traced in Arunachal Pradesh on Tues­day.

“The wreck­age of the air­craft was spot­ted 16 kilo­me­tres 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,” the In­dian Air Force said in a state­ment.

The force said ef­forts are un­der way to es­tab­lish if there are any sur­vivors. There were eight crew mem­bers and five pas­sen­gers on­board when the plane dropped off the radar.

“There was a meet­ing of In­dian Air Force, Army and lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials to fig­ure out how to reach the very re­mote, wooded site, which can only be ac­cessed by trekking,” said a se­nior IAF of­fi­cer.

A mas­sive op­er­a­tion was launched to lo­cate the miss­ing twin-en­gine tur­bo­prop craft, which had lost con­tact with ground con­trol on June 3. The ISRO’S radar imag­ing satel­lite and the Navy’s long-range sur­veil­lance air­craft P8i were de­ployed for the search mis­sion, apart from other so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy.

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