The IAF's rescue team that went to conduct a search operation following the finding of the crashed AN-32 18 days earlier is still stranded at the site in Arunachal Pradesh, the Air Force has said.
The team that retrieved the bodies is stranded as a result of bad weather. As per a statement by the Indian Air Force (IAF), consistent efforts are underway to retrieve the mountaineering team at the crash site as soon as possible. The ongoing active monsoon conditions have further deteriorated the situations. In addition, several sorties have been launched to reach the crash site. Even so, excessive clouding has prevented the IAF choppers from landing.
However, the IAF is assisting the stranded team by reinforcing them with rations and other essential supplies, the statement added:
"The team has been reinforced with ration and other essential supplies and we are in constant communication with them through Sat phones." it added
The statement also added that the team is not considering to trek down-hill as its too risky and dangerous keeping in mind the terrain and heavy rains. The IAF officials in the statement implied that they will retrieve the team as soon as there is a slight reduction in the rains and clouding. The rescue team had reached the crash site on June 12, and have been at the location since. The wreckage of the missing AN-32 was located by a Mi-17 helicopter on June 11, following which a team of 15 mountaineers was air-dropped near the crash site the next day.
A 15-member team of rescuers was sent to look for survivors in the accident site. The Indian Air force had lost contact with an AN-32 Aircraft which was overdue to arrive at the Menchuka Advanced Landing Ground at Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft which was a transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force, made the last contact with ground sources after taking off from the Jorhat airbase in Assam. There had reportedly been no contact since. All 13 persons on board the aircraft were air warriors - 8 crew and 5 passengers.