The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday announced that no survivors were found at the site of the wreckage of the ill-fated AN-32 transport aircraft in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The families of the 13 people on board have been informed.
Taking to Twitter, the IAF informed, “Eight members of the rescue team reached the crash site today (Thursday) morning. IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors”.All 13 bodies and the black box of the transport aircraft have been recovered. Helicopters will be used to ferry the bodies from the crash site in Arunachal, the IAF said. The Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder have been retrieved as well.
The aircraft, which had six officers, five airmen and two non-combatants, went missing on June 3 after it took off from Jorhat Air Force Station in Assam at 12.27 pm for the Menchuka Advance Landing Ground.
IAF had released the names of the air-warriors who lost their lives in the tragic AN-32 crash:
Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron leader H Vinod, Flight lieutenant R Thapa, Flight lieutenant A Tanwar, Flight lieutenant S Mohanty, Flight lieutenant MK Garg, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, Lead Aircraft Man SK Singh, Lead Aircraft Man Pankaj, Non-combatant Employee Putali, Non-combatant Employee Rajesh Kumar.
The wreckage of the missing AN-32 was spotted on Tuesday 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato approximately at an elevation of 12000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.
Following that, a search and rescue mission was launched and on Wednesday that a joint team of 15 mountaineers from the Air Force, Army and the local mountaineers was dropped near to the site. Finally on Thursday morning the eight-member team reached the spot and surveyed the area in search of life.Initially, the IAF had deployed C-130, AN-32, two Mi-17 helicopters and Army’s ALH helicopters. Later, the Navy’s P8i, UAVs and ISRO joined the search. Arunachal CM Pema Khandu and Chief Secretary Satya Gopal are monitoring the operations.