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No trace yet of missing AN-32 plane

By STAFF REPORTER
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GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI, June 4 - A long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft of Indian Navy was deployed on Tuesday as part of a massive search operation to trace an AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force which went missing around thickly-forested Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh yesterday.

The missing aircraft had 13 people on board, including eight crew and five passengers.

Navy spokesperson Capt. D K Sharma said the P8i aircraft took off from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu�s Arakonam around 1 pm to join the search and rescue operation to trace the missing AN-32. Already a fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and choppers were deployed to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft in the mountainous terrain in and around Mechuka. Ground troops have also been deployed to carry out search operation.

Capt. Sharma said the P8i aircraft will carry out search operation with electro optical and Infra Red sensors.

After it completed its recce at 6.45 pm, another mission was launched at night by deploying two Su30s. The search by helicopters was suspended at sunset due to bad weather and would resume tomorrow.

Defence spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites of ISRO are also taking images of the area.

�Search by all sensors with night capability and the ground party will continue throughout the night,� he said.

An IAF spokesman said Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command Air Marshal RD Mathur visited Air Force Station Jorhat and met the families of the missing persons today afternoon.

Mathur, who is monitoring the progress of search and rescue operation, was briefed about the coordinated effort by Army, IAF and civil agencies.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured all help and support of the state in search operation.

The AN 32 took off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm yesterday for the Mechuka advance landing ground in Shi-Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh, and its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm.

The IAF has deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft besides two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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No trace yet of missing AN-32 plane

GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI, June 4 - A long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft of Indian Navy was deployed on Tuesday as part of a massive search operation to trace an AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force which went missing around thickly-forested Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh yesterday.

The missing aircraft had 13 people on board, including eight crew and five passengers.

Navy spokesperson Capt. D K Sharma said the P8i aircraft took off from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu�s Arakonam around 1 pm to join the search and rescue operation to trace the missing AN-32. Already a fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and choppers were deployed to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft in the mountainous terrain in and around Mechuka. Ground troops have also been deployed to carry out search operation.

Capt. Sharma said the P8i aircraft will carry out search operation with electro optical and Infra Red sensors.

After it completed its recce at 6.45 pm, another mission was launched at night by deploying two Su30s. The search by helicopters was suspended at sunset due to bad weather and would resume tomorrow.

Defence spokesman Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites of ISRO are also taking images of the area.

�Search by all sensors with night capability and the ground party will continue throughout the night,� he said.

An IAF spokesman said Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command Air Marshal RD Mathur visited Air Force Station Jorhat and met the families of the missing persons today afternoon.

Mathur, who is monitoring the progress of search and rescue operation, was briefed about the coordinated effort by Army, IAF and civil agencies.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured all help and support of the state in search operation.

The AN 32 took off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm yesterday for the Mechuka advance landing ground in Shi-Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh, and its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm.

The IAF has deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft besides two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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