Fifth Day: No Trace Of Ill-Fated IAF Aircraft
Itanagar: The whereabouts of the ill-fated Antonov AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) could not be ascertained even after continuous search and rescue operations for the fifth day on Friday.
The Russian-origin aircraft with eight crew members and five passengers lost contact on June 3 afternoon after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for the Mechuka advanced landing ground near the China border. Mechuka is also the headquarters of Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Shillong-based IAF spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh informed that despite inclement weather, the joint search operations by IAF, Army and local administrations continued for the day. “Search operations by helicopters, P8i of the Indian Navy besides C130J and ground parties of the Army and locals were conducted but there was no sight of the aircraft,” Singh said adding, the search operations by helicopters were called off for the day due to low lights and would resume on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, ground parties of the Army and ITBP along with locals and district administration officials are also searching areas around Siang district, official sources informed.
An area of about 2,500 square kilometre falls under Kaying and Payum circle of Siang district, the suspected area on the aircraft’s route. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday called upon all the district administrations of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi-Yomi to intensify the search operation for the aircraft.
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