Guwahati: The 15-member rescue team comprising Indian Air Force personnel and civilians who were camping at the crash site since June 12, was retrieved and brought to Arunachal Pradesh by IAF choppers on Saturday.
Defence spokesperson Shillong Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said that all the members of the team are fit and healthy. “The rescue team comprising eight from IAF (including 2 officers), four (including 2 officers) from Army and three civilians were airlifted by ALH and Mi-17V5 helicopters at about 5.15 pm,” he said.
It is significant that the rescue team that retrieved the mortal remains of 13 air warriors on AN-32 crash on June 12 was struck for past 18 days at an altitude of approximately 12,000 feet.
Informing that IAF has been trying to retrieve the mountaineering team at crash site, the Wing Commander Singh said that despite ongoing acti-ve monsoon conditions, several sorties were laun-ched to reach the crash site, but excessive clouding was preventing the landing of the helicopters.
“The effort to retrieve them was delayed due to inclement weather and rain, which improved slig-htly on Saturday in the ev-ening, allowing the risky helicopter operations to be undertaken,” he said.
He clarified, “We were in constant tou-ch with them throughout.”
Meanwhile the Siang district administration, which was also keeping a close watch on the situation, expressed satisfaction over the arrival of the rescue team as apart from IAF personnel, civilian mountaineer Taka Tamut and two other locals who were asked to guide a foot trek were also part of the team....