UPDATE: AN-32 transport aircraft’s black box found, bodies of all 13 personnel recovered
The black box of AN-32 transport aircraft has been recovered along with all 13 bodies who were on board when the aircraft went missing. According to the latest update, choppers would be used to ferry the bodies from the crash site in Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier today, the Indian Air Force (IAF) search teams reached the AN-32 crash site and did not find any survivors. The families of the 13 personnel have already been informed that there are no survivors, news agaency ANI reported.
After the Indian Air Force’s Mi-17 Helicopter spotted the wreckage of the AN-32 aircraft that went missing on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lipo, the IAF said the search will resumed on Wednesday morning. An IAF official said after identifying the wreckage of the AN 32 on Tuesday, a Cheetah helicopter and an ALH chopper reached the crash site but could not land due to high elevation and dense forest. An IAF official said that the Force will send its special commandos 'Garud' to the crash site and carry out an exercise to look for possible survivors.
The IAF had said efforts are on to establish the status of occupants amid fears of that chances of any survivor in the one of worst accidents involving a military platform in recent years may be very bleak.
"The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone," the IAF said in a statement.
The aircraft had gone missing with 13 people on board June 3 after taking off from Assam's Jorhat.
The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost contact with ground staff at 1 pm, within 33 minutes of taking off. The IAF launched a massive operation after the aircraft went missing but the search was badly hit due to poor weather conditions.
The assets deployed for the operation included Sukhoi-30 aircraft in addition to a fleet of C-130J and AN-32 planes and Mi-17 and ALH helicopters. The ground forces included troops from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police.