Missing AN-32 aircraft with 13 on board not located yet; no wreckage sighted

The IAF said the aircraft took off from Jorhat 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.

AN-32 aircraft with 13 on board goes missing in Arunachal Pradesh; no wreckage sighted
Representational Image- AN 32 aircraft/ AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA (Photo by TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 04 Jun 2019 08:46 AM
New Delhi: Indian Air Force aircraft AN-32 which went missing in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday, has not been located so far and the eight crew members and five passengers on board remain untraceable, hours after the transport carrier's disappearance was first reported.

As per the latest updates, the AN-32 aircraft with 13 people was not located by 7:30 am on Tuesday. C-130J and ground patrols of the Army are still carrying out search operations, news agency ANI reported.


The Russian-origin transport aircraft which was heading for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh  (near the border with China), went missing around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam.

The IAF said the aircraft took off from Jorhat 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 Indian Air Force said that the Aircraft last contacted ground control at 1300 hrs. There was no further contact with the aircraft. Efforts are on to establish the whereabouts of the aircraft.

C-130J, AN-32 and Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopter launched to locate the missing aircraft, the IAF said.

It said that some reports of possible location of crash site were received, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far.

IAF is coordinating with Indian Army, various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft. Search operations continued from air and by ground parties of Indian Army through the night.

Read: IAF in action to locate missing AN-32 aircraft, search operations to continue overnight


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to the vice chief of the force on steps to find the missing aircraft 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.



Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa is in Sweden on a four-day visit which began Monday.

Official sources said the IAF has deployed all available resources to locate the aircraft. 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.

Officials said the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is around 35 kms away from the China border.



Similar instances:

An AN-32 aircraft had crashed near a village in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh in June 2009 in which 13 defence personnel 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.

The aircraft could not be traced following weeks of massive search operations covering 2,17,800 square nautical miles by multiple aircraft.

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.

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