A day after spotting the wreckage of the missing An-32 aircraft in the dense forests of a remote area in Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wednesday mobilised a team of 15 personnel to carry out rescue operations. The rescuers are expected to reach the crash site by tonight, the IAF said in a statement.
“The rescuers are expected to reach the crash site by tonight. The terrain weather and thick vegetation is slowing down the progress of rescue team. IAF is making every effort possible to reach the site,” the IAF wrote on Twitter.
The crash site is 16 kilometres north of Lipo, north east of Tato and at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet, the IAF had said Tuesday. The wreckage from the aircraft had been discovered by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter deployed for the search operation.
The teams will try to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh had said on Tuesday that they will “look for survivors and other things”.
The An-32 had disappeared on June 3, after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat base at around 12.30 pm. It lost contact with ground staff at around 1 pm. It was scheduled to reach the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi Yomi district at 1.30 pm. There were 13 people on board the aircraft.
Rajiv Takuk, the Siang Deputy Commissioner, told The Indian Express, “It’s a very difficult area with no communication or habitation. It is 100 per cent mountainous and dotted with ravines and gorges. During the elections, it took three days of trekking for the poll team to reach the village of Gate (in the area where the wreckage has been spotted).”