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AN 32 crash: Inclement weather hampers retrieval of bodies

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, June 15 - Efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the air-warriors who lost their lives in the AN 32 crash in West Siang district commenced early this morning, but the exercise was hampered due to inclement weather conditions.

�The progress got hampered due to inclement weather in the area. Cheetah and ALH helicopters are on standby and are waiting to commence operations once the weather improves. At present there are low clouds associated with rain in the area,� a defence spokesman said.

IAF personnel are in constant contact with the families of the deceased air-warriors and are being updated regularly about the ongoing rescue operations.

The rescue team of 17 IAF, Army Special Forces and civilian members is present at the crash site.

�No helicopter could fly today due to bad weather,� defence spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said in the evening.

�Helicopter operations require great skill and caution under such conditions, especially hovering at high altitudes and very close to the steep mountain slopes. Bad weather is hampering hovering by helicopters to do winching operations which are mandatory for all rescue operations and recovery of mortal remains. All efforts are being made to heli-lift the mortal remains of the IAF personnel at the earliest to their parent base Jorhat. Rescue teams are standing by and operations will resume as soon as the weather improves,� Singh added.

PTI adds: Meanwhile, IAF chief BS Dhanoa said on Saturday that the Indian Air Force would ascertain the cause of the crash of the AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh and take steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

�We have recovered the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. We will go into the detail (to ascertain) as to what happened and how do we make sure that it does not happen again,� he told reporters on the sidelines of the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.

The Russian-origin aircraft went missing in the afternoon of June 3, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.

After eight days of massive search operation, the wreckage of the plane was spotted by an IAF chopper on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts. All 13 on board the aircraft died.

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AN 32 crash: Inclement weather hampers retrieval of bodies

GUWAHATI, June 15 - Efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the air-warriors who lost their lives in the AN 32 crash in West Siang district commenced early this morning, but the exercise was hampered due to inclement weather conditions.

�The progress got hampered due to inclement weather in the area. Cheetah and ALH helicopters are on standby and are waiting to commence operations once the weather improves. At present there are low clouds associated with rain in the area,� a defence spokesman said.

IAF personnel are in constant contact with the families of the deceased air-warriors and are being updated regularly about the ongoing rescue operations.

The rescue team of 17 IAF, Army Special Forces and civilian members is present at the crash site.

�No helicopter could fly today due to bad weather,� defence spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said in the evening.

�Helicopter operations require great skill and caution under such conditions, especially hovering at high altitudes and very close to the steep mountain slopes. Bad weather is hampering hovering by helicopters to do winching operations which are mandatory for all rescue operations and recovery of mortal remains. All efforts are being made to heli-lift the mortal remains of the IAF personnel at the earliest to their parent base Jorhat. Rescue teams are standing by and operations will resume as soon as the weather improves,� Singh added.

PTI adds: Meanwhile, IAF chief BS Dhanoa said on Saturday that the Indian Air Force would ascertain the cause of the crash of the AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh and take steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

�We have recovered the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. We will go into the detail (to ascertain) as to what happened and how do we make sure that it does not happen again,� he told reporters on the sidelines of the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.

The Russian-origin aircraft went missing in the afternoon of June 3, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.

After eight days of massive search operation, the wreckage of the plane was spotted by an IAF chopper on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts. All 13 on board the aircraft died.