IAF AN-32 rescue team still stranded at crash site in Arunachal's mountain; ration, essentials airdropped at crash site
The hostile weather conditions in the terrain are hampering the airlift operations.
The 15-member rescue and relief team comprising of nine Indian Air Force personnel and three civilians that had reached the wreckage site of the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh on June 12, is still on the site. Bad weather and dense forests have hampered the efforts to bring them out from the crash location.
"IAF is making all efforts to retrieve the trekking team and ration among other essentials has been provided to them," Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh, Defence PRO, Shillong said.
"Several sorties were launched to rescue the team, but excessive cloud cover due to heavy monsoon has prevented helicopter landings. However, we are in constant communication with them through satellite phones," Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh added.
The Wing Commander further assured that IAF will be able to retrieve them as soon as there is a reduction in cloud cover and rain.
The team has been stranded for past 18 days at an altitude of approximately 12,000 feet where it was given the task of recovering the bodies of 13 air warriors who were on board the AN-32 aircraft which crashed in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh earlier in June.
Those stranded include nine IAF personnel, civilian mountaineer Taka Tamut and two other locals who were asked to guide a foot trek, Siang District Administration officials said.
Until now, the rescuers were surviving the bad weather conditions by feeding on ration airdropped to them on the day they arrived at the crash site, officials added. On June 3, the Russian AN-32 aircraft of the IAF went missing 33 minutes after taking off from Assam's Jorhat. The wreckage was found nine days later.