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Last Updated : Jun 11, 2019 05:25 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Missing AN-32 wreckage spotted in Arunachal Pradesh, IAF confirms

On June 3, the aircraft had gone missing hours after it took off from Jorhat, Assam for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Wreckage of the Indian Air Force's (IAF) missing AN-32, that crashed eight days ago, was finally spotted on June 11.

The location of the aircraft’s parts was 16 kilometres north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh.

The IAF confirmed the development in a tweet.

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The IAF further tweeted, "Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress."

As many as 13 people — eight belonging to the crew and five passengers—  were believed to be on board the aircraft.

On June 3, the aircraft had gone missing hours after it took off from Jorhat, Assam for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh.

The IAF had confirmed in a tweet that the aircraft was airborne on June 3 at 12.25 pm. The aircraft was last in contact with the ground agencies at 1.00 pm. Since the aircraft did not reach the designated destination, overdue action was initiated by IAF.

Forest area of Arunachal Pradesh where the AN-32 wreckage was found (Image: Google Maps)

The Antonov AN-32 is a twin-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The IAF was the launch customer for this aircraft manufactured Antonov. Antonov was a Soviet, and later a Ukrainian, aircraft manufacturing company.

The AN-32 is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions. The IAF fleet comprises over 100 AN-32s which are currently undergoing modernisation, according to reports.

IAF has recorded at least four crashes or disappearances of AN-32s before.

In 1986, an IAF AN-32 disappeared over the Arabian Sea on a delivery flight from the Soviet Union via Muscat, Oman. No trace was found of the aircraft or the people on board.

Four years later, another AN-32 aircraft crashed in the Ponmudi mountain range on its way to Thiruvananthapuram from Tambaram Air Force Station near Chennai.

In 2009, an AN-32 aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from the Mechuka ALG. All 13 people on board were killed.

Following this crash, India inked a $400-million deal with Ukraine for the upgradation of the AN-32 fleet.

In 2016, an AN-32 flying from Tambaram Air Force Station to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands went missing above the Bay of Bengal. It had 29 people on board.

The subsequent search and rescue operation was India's largest for a missing aircraft on the sea. The operation was called off later with all 29 being presumed dead.

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First Published on Jun 11, 2019 03:36 pm
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