Russian origin aircraft that took off from Assam’s Jorhat base on June 3 never reached its destination, Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground airport, in Arunachal Pradesh
The Indian Air Force on June 13 said there were no survivors on board the AN-32 aircraft which crashed after taking off from Jorhat base on 3 June 2019. The announcement came after a team of rescuers searched the wreckage of the plane in Arunachal Pradesh. There were 13 personnel on board the aircraft.
The aircraft had taken off from Assam’s Jorhat base around 12.30 pm on June 3 and never reached the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi Yomi district.
The IAF personnel on board the AN-32 aircraft were Wing Commander G M Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants L R Thapa, MK Garg, Ashish Tanwar and Sumit Mohanty, Warrant officer K K Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC (leading aircraft man) S K Singh, LAC Pankaj, and non-combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali.
The IAF discovered the wreckage of the aircraft on June 11 (Tuesday) at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts. The IAF said it had deployed a 15-member team of rescuers to look for survivors of the crash on June 12, out of which eight had reached the crash site on the morning of June 13.
IAF had put into service a number of assets to search for the aircraft in the dense forest area, among them were Sukhoi-30 aircraft, a fleet of C-130J and AN-32 planes, along with Mi-17 and ALH helicopters. The personnel from the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police and state police were engaged in ground searches.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu also expressed his grief on the tragedy, tweeting, “Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives of our Air Warriors. My tributes and homage to our brave Air Warriors who attained martyrdom. My deep condolences to their families and pray to God to give them enough strength in this time of grief to bear the irreparable loss.”