With the crash site of the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft being discovered in a remote part of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, the Indian Air Force has started operations to deploy personnel at the location and conduct further searches. Mi17s and Advanced Light Helicopters(ALH) from the Army are being utilized for the search operations, as the IAF tries to locate survivors of the crash.
A map issued by a district administrator in Arunachal Pradesh shows the crash site at a distance of 16 km from Lipo, Arunachal Pradesh. A visual accessed on Tuesday had shown the wreckage to be hidden amidst perilous terrain at a spot with an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level.
“The rescue mission of inducting teams to the crash site, by helicopters has begun. Mi17s and ALH from the army are being utilized,” said defence PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh
“It is likely to take some time for the ground parties to reach the crash site. The area has thick vegetation and the tough terrain often prevents the ground search party from advancing,” said a senior official of Shi Yomi district.
On Tuesday, shortly after the crash site was found, the IAF announced that it would drop search teams, including Garud commandos and IAF mountaineers on Wednesday in order to intensify the search operations. The IAF AN-32 had gone off the radar on June 3 shortly after taking off from Jorhat with 13 on board.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) which had initially launched a search operation for the missing aircraft using a Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and a C-130 Special Ops aircraft, intensified the search in the successive days, with the Army, Navy, Police, paramilitary forces, and the local population, all assisting. The Government of Arunachal Pradesh ably assisted the forces in the search and rescue, with the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary monitoring the operation directly.