ITANAGAR, July 5 -�The wreckage of the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter that went missing while on a rescue mission in Arunachal Pradesh�on Tuesday�has been found at the Papum Pare district today.
�Wreckage of missing IAF chopper which went missing on July 4 while on a rescue mission was spotted today after massive search and rescue operations in an inaccessible deep gorge at Sopo Yuha area, approximately 4 kms away from Hostallam, a remote village in the district,� confirmed an official press note from the Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner�s office here this evening.
However, the fate of the three crew members was not yet known, it said.
The Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) of the IAF had been pressed into service for airlifting the stranded passengers due to landslides between Sagalee and Itanagar . It had gone missing soon after taking off from Pilputu helipad near Sagalee at�3.48 pm�for Naharlagun helipad.
A Defence spokesperson said the chopper had gone out for flood rescue operations from its base in Jorhat on Tuesday morning.
Sagalee Additional Deputy Commissioner Jalash Pertin said that the IAF helicopter, which was pressed into evacuation of the people stranded due to landslides in the area, had made five sorties since it arrived there at around�10.30 am�on Tuesday.
�In the sixth sortie to Naharlagun, the crew for unknown reasons did not take the last batch of 9 civilians and took off from Sagalee,� he added.
The ill-fated chopper went missing�on Tuesday�evening hours after the Union Minister for State Kiren Rijiju�s chopper made an emergency landing near Itanagar due to bad weather. The Mi-17 helicopter with Rijiju and seven other passengers and crew members on board was flying from Guwahati to Ziro in Lower Subansiri district when it faced heavy rains and fog yesterday afternoon.