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From Our Special Correspondent
GUWAHATI: Recue operations for the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft which crashed in Arunachal Pradesh is in full swing by Indian Air Force (IAF) with additional resources mobilised to search for survivors.
Four Garuds of IAF as part of the recovery party were dropped by helicopter near the crash site, where a camp has been established, IAF reports said.
It may be mentioned that the rescue mission of inducting teams by helicopters to the site began early Wednesday morning.
Fifteen mountaineers have been inducted by Mi-17s and ALH (advanced light helicopters) with all equipment.
Nine are from IAF mountaineering team, four from Army and two are civilian mountaineers.
IAF Mi-17 helicopters undertaking search in the expanded search zone had on Tuesday spotted the wreckage of the plane at a place 16km north of Lipo and north-east of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 feet.
“After having located the crash site, a team comprising personnel from IAF, Army and civil mountaineers have been airlifted to a location close to the crash site,” an official statement said.
The AN-32 plane had taken off from the IAF airbase at Jorhat in Upper Assam for Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh with 13 air warriors on board on June 3 but lost contact with the radar after about half an hour.
An intensive multi-agency search from air and ground was launched thereafter even as inclement weather hampered the operations.
Air Marshal RD Mathur, Air officer commanding (AOC) in chief, Eastern Air Command, complimented the search team for their relentless effort spanning eight days.
He thanked the state administration which, under the supervision of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu and chief secretary, Satya Gopal has extended unflinching support to the IAF towards locating the missing An-32.
“The proud and highly patriotic people of the state have worked tirelessly to help the IAF for a national cause,” he said.