Itanagar, (UNI) A day after spotting the wreckage of the missing Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft AN-32 near Gatte village under Payum circle in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, mountaineers from Air force, Army and civilian were dropped by helicopters on a suitable location near the wreckage site on Wednesday and they have reached the crash site.
“Today, helicopters dropped mountaineers from Air force, Army and civil on a suitable location near the wreckage site braving against fluctuating weather condition there to do the ground works with specific instructions. They have reached the wreckage site but climbing deep down the wreckage site would take time,” a release from DIPRO Aalo (district headquarter of West Siang) said.
Fifteen mountaineers have been inducted, nine from Air Force, four from Army and two civilian in the rescue operation in search of possible survivors.
Hectic activities are going on after spotting the wreckage of IAF AN-32 aircraft near Gatte village, eastern part of Pari mountain ridge at an elevation of 11500 ft.
Team comprising of Air Marshal Sandeep Singh SASO EAC, Group Captain, Vivek Ahluwallia and Wing Commander Dheraj Kumar accompanied by Er Somar
Potom, Deputy Director, APEDA, Aalo as representative of West Siang district
administration using MI-17 Chopper, it said.
DLR&SO and in charge EAC Kaying Pumek Ronya said the IAF is making a valiant effort to lift back the mountaineers but fluctuating weather condition with misty clouds hovering around there is posing hurdles. If the weather condition does not improve and helicopter do not reach at dropping site, it is likely that the mountaineers will be bracing a tougher time there.
Meanwhile, Guwahati-based Defence PRO, Lt Col P Khongsai said in a statement said, “the induction of 15 mountaineers from helicopter is complete. They are yet to reach the crash site due to inclement weather and terrain.”
“Team will be camping overnight and will close in to the crash site tomorrow,” he stated.
Earlier in the day, Air Marshal RD Mathur, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Air Command, complimented the search team for their relentless effort spanning eight days.
He also thanked the Arunachal Pradesh administration which, under the personal
supervision of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Chief Secretary Satya Gopal, has extended unflinching support to the IAF towards locating the missing AN-32.
Mr Mathur said the proud and highly patriotic people of the State have worked
tirelessly to help the IAF for a national cause.
It may be mentioned that after the AN-32 had gone missing, Chief Minister Pema Khandu directed all the district administrations of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi-Yomi to intensify search operation to locate the aircraft.
On June 3, the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft with eight crew members and five other
passengers on board took off from Jorhat airbase for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh.