A Russian-origin AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board went missing on Monday (June 3) afternoon, around 35 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam, official sources said.
The aircraft took off at 12.25 pm from IAFs Jorhat base for the Menchuka advance landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh, but lost contact with ground control at 1 pm, official sources said.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to the vice chief of the force and was praying for the safety of all those on board. “Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria regarding the missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours. “He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board,” the minister tweeted.
A total of eight crew and five passengers are on board, the sources said. The Indian Air Force has deployed all available resources to locate the aircraft, said sources. The AN-32 is a Russian origin aircraft and the IAF currently operates a sizeable number of it. It is a twin engine turboprop transport aircraft. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is not very far from the China border.