IAF Locates Debris of Missing Plane

Debris of the India Air Force AN-32 plane, which went missing with 13 people on board in Arunachal Pradesh, has been found, said police.

India Air Force launched aerial scouting for the aircraft – which was feared to have crashed – in the morning over the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday evening.

The aircraft was on its way to Jorhat in Assam from the Mechuka advanced landing ground (ALG) in West Siang, close to the China border.

The Russian-built AN-32, a reliable workhorse, took off at 2 pm from Mechuka but lost radio contact soon. The aircraft had six IAF personnel and “six or seven” other passengers, said to be from the Army. There is no motorable road to Mechuka.

Three IAF officers are among those on board. Names and ranks of those in the aircraft have not been released.

India has close to 100 AN-32 aircraft. Eight have been lost in accidents since induction in 1984. The last crash in which casualties took place was in March 1999 when an AN-32 crashed near Delhi, killing 22 people. The last time an AN-32 crashed without any casualty was also in Arunachal Pradesh — at the Vijayanagar ALG in March 2000.

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