IAF’s AN-32 aircraft with 13 on board goes missing

An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board went missing after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat at 12:24pm for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday.

“An IAF AN-32 took off from Jorhat at 1227 hrs for Mechuka ALG. 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,” tweeted Indian Air Force in a thread.

The aircraft, carrying 8 crew members and 5 passengers when it went off radar. The normal flight time between Jorhat and Mechuka is about 50 minutes. It has not been in contact with ground agencies since 1pm.

“C-130J, AN-32 and Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopter launched to locate the missing aircraft. 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 will continue from air and by ground parties of Indian Army through the night,” the thread continued to say.

“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,” defence minister Rajnath Singh later tweeted.

Abha Boyal

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