Rescue efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the 13 air warriors who had laid down their lives while onboard the AN-32, which crashed in the mountainous area of Arunachal Pradesh on June 3 commenced in the wee hours of June 15.
However, the progress was disrupted due to inclement weather conditions with indications of rain. This led to a halt in the rescue operations whereby Cheetah & ALH Helicopters were put on standby.
On Tuesday, the AN-32's debris was located which confirmed that the aircraft had crashed. The finding came after 8 days of relentless search. The debris was spotted at least 16 km north of Lipo and north-east of Tapo at an elevation of 12,000 ft. The crash site was located by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter which was engaged in the search operations. The picture emerging from the crash site suggested that the plane was trying to cross over the mountain top but could not do so due to blockage of views by clouds.
On Wednesday, the Air Force had air-dropped personnel and set up a camp near the crash site for the search party teams. Every effort was put into the search for the missing aircraft. Light helicopters like Cheetah and UAV drones were also a part of the intensified search operation. Other military arms including the Indian Navy and Indian Army, as well as police and locals, took part in the search operations which were ably assisted by the government of Arunachal Pradesh, with the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary overseeing operations themselves.
However despite such planned operations, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday confirmed that there were no survivors from the crashed AN-32 that had gone missing on June 3 with 13 persons onboard.
Despite being in the throes of challenging weather conditions, IAF has been making all efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the deceased air-warriors. IAF personnel are also in constant contact with the families of these air-warriors who are being updated regularly about the ongoing rescue operations. Operations are anticipated to resume once the weather is considered safe.