The Indian Air Force (IAF) Thursday confirmed that none of the 13 on board its An-32 aircraft had survived the crash in Arunachal Pradesh.
The wreckage of the transport aircraft, which disappeared on June 3 after taking off from the Jorhat airbase for the Mechuka advanced landing ground, was spotted Tuesday 16 km north of Lipo, not far from the China border.
“Eight members of the rescue team have reached the crash site today morning. IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors from the crash of An-32,” the IAF said on its official Twitter handle, adding that it stands with the family of the victims.
There were reports that the black box of the aircraft had been recovered by the search team but the IAF did not confirm this till the filing of the report.
The IAF identified the 13 killed in the crash as: Wing Commander G M Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants R Thapa, M K Garg, Ashish Tanwar and S Mohanty, Warrant Officer K K Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC (leading aircraft man) S K Singh, LAC Pankaj, and non-combatants (enrolled) Rajesh Kumar and Putali.
“IAF Pays tribute to the brave Air-warriors who lost their life during the #An32 crash on 03 Jun 2019 and stands by with the families of the victims. May their soul rest in peace,” the IAF tweeted.
The An-32, which took off from Jorhat around 12.30 pm on June 3, never landed at the Mechuka ALG in Shi Yomi district. The aircraft’s last contact with ground staff was at 1 pm.
On Wednesday, a day after the wreckage was spotted in mountainous terrain, a team of 15 mountaineers were air-dropped at the nearest location to the crash site. They could not immediately trek to the spot owing to inclement weather and difficult terrain.