The Soviet Union-built aircraft had gone missing when the pilot had decided to turn back while approaching Leh due to bad weather. (ANI Photo)
In a successful joint mission by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, a frozen wreckage of a plane that had gone missing in 1968 was discovered on Dhaka Glacier located in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul-Spiti Valley. Several parts of the Indian Air Force’s AN-12 aircraft, which include fuel tank unit, fuselage, cockpit door and propeller were found buried in the snow by the team of scouts on Sunday. "An expedition of Dogra Scouts was launched on July 26 to Dhaka Glacier under the aegis of Headquarter Western Command with an aim to recover the mortal remains of soldiers who were on board AN-12 BL-534 Aircraft, which went missing over Rohtang Pass on February 7, 1968," the Indian Army said in a statement .
This is not the first time that parts of the missing plane have been traced. Last year, body of one of the 102 soldiers on board the AN-12 plane were found at Dhaka Glacier. In 2007, three more bodies were also recovered by an Indian Army expedition, which was given the code name of Operation Punaruthan-II. Only five bodies were recovered between 2003 and 2017. The body recovered in 2003 was identified to be that of Sepoy Beli Ram, an Army man who was on the flight. It is believed that bodies other victims may also be lying in the area.
The Soviet Union-built aircraft had gone missing when the pilot had decided to turn back while approaching Leh due to bad weather. The plane went off radar on its way to Chandigarh. There were 98 passengers and four crew members onboard.