Wreckage of AN-32 found in Arunachal, confirms Indian Air Force

An ANF-32 aircraft of the Indian Air force. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The wreckage of an IAF aircraft, which went missing eight days ago with 13 people on board, was found on Tuesday in Lipo locality of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Air Force said.

The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted on Tuesday 16 Kms North of Lipo, the IAF tweeted.

The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft lost contact on the afternoon of June 3 after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China.

Also read: IAF’s latest Antonov-32 aircraft tragedy

A fleet of fixed wing aircraft and choppers were deployed to locate the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft, officials had said. Ground troops were been deployed to carry out search operation in the mountainous terrain in the region.

The IAF had said the aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm for the Menchuka advance landing ground in Shi-Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh, and its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm.

The IAF had deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft besides two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft.

Also read: IAF aircraft with 13 people on board goes missing

The AN-32 is a twin engine turboprop transport aircraft and the IAF currently operates a sizeable number of it.

An AN-32 aircraft had crashed near a village in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh in June 2009 in which 13 defence personnel were killed. The aircraft had crashed over the Rinchi Hill above Heyo village, about 30 km from Mechuka advance landing ground.

In July 2016, an AN-32 aircraft went missing while taking off from Chennai for Port Blair with 29 people on board. It could not be traced following weeks of massive search operations covering 2,17,800 square nautical miles.

Months later, an IAF court of inquiry concluded that it was unlikely that the missing personnel on board the aircraft would have survived the accident.