Guwahati: The search team of the Indian Air Force on Tuesday succeeded in spotting wreckage of an AN-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 on board on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh.
The wreckage has been found in Payum Circle of Siang district. It was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, at a height of around 12,000 feet.
The Air Force authorities who announced this through a tweet on the social media said that efforts are now on to find the status of occupants and establish survivors.
Teams from the Army, Navy and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troops, supported by night-time sensors, worked through the night. The Air Force said that the search area had been expanded despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain and poor weather.
The state government authorities said that they have got the location of the wreckage from the Air Force authorities and preparing a team on the ground to reach the place through the land route. It is going to be another challenging job for the search team, the local authorities said.
The plane was traveling from Jorhat in Assam to a remote military landing strip in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh when it vanished from the radar around 1 pm.
The Air Force had deployed two Mi-17s and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), the P8i — a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft from Tamil Nadu - for the search.
Intense search operations have been going on in the area ever since the IAF jet went missing. Family members of the missing personnel who were travelling onboard have also been stationed in Assam in anticipation of any news about the missing aircraft.
According to the local state government authorities helping the Air Force in the search operation on the ground, the location of wreckage of the aircraft is about 15-20 kms north of the flight path of the missing AN-32 aircraft.
The bad weather condition had stalled aerial search operations for the missing aircraft for two days early this week while ground operations continued in the mountainous area.
The IAF had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone providing information about the aircraft....