Bad weather hampers IAF's effort to retrieve mortal remains of air warriors killed in AN 32 crash

The AN-32 transport aircraft of the Air Force went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam`s Jorhat. 

Bad weather hampers IAF's effort to retrieve mortal remains of air warriors killed in AN 32 crash
Image credits: ANI

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday resumed efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of 13 brave air warriors who were killed in the tragic crash of its transport aircraft AN 32 nearly ten days back in the mountainous area of Arunachal Pradesh.

The IAF said in a statement that rescue efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the 13 air-warriors who laid down their lives in the line of duty commenced early on Saturday.

However, the progress got hampered due to inclement weather in the area, it added.

''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. IAF is making all efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the deceased air-warriors,'' IAF spokesperson and Wing Commander Puneet Chadha said.

Chadha further informed that the IAF personnel are in constant contact with the families of these air-warriors and are updating them regularly about the ongoing rescue operations. 

They are also being explained the challenges about the weather, Wing Commander Puneet Chadha said.

 

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IAF mountaineers, Army Special Forces personnel and local mountaineers were dropped off at the closest possible location to the crash site and have reached the crash site," a Defence Ministry release said.

The mortal remains and other material evidence have to be picked up by helicopters and brought back to Jorhat in stages.

The recovery team is braving the treacherous terrain and inclement weather in order to bring back the mortal remains as soon as possible.

''The IAF has flown around 200 sorties towards the AN-32 search and recovery operations and is sparing no efforts in recovering the remains of its personnel for which 08 helicopters have been deployed,'' the Defence Ministry statement said.

The AN-32 transport aircraft of the Air Force went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam`s Jorhat. 

The aircraft was headed for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1300 hours.

After a massive search and rescue operation for eight days, during which assets from several agencies were deployed, the wreckage of the aircraft was located by a Mi-17 chopper.

The wreckage was located 16 km north of Lipo at an elevation of 12,000 feet. 

The picture emerging from the crash site suggested that the plane was trying to cross over the mountain top but could not do so due to blockage of views by clouds.

(With Agency inputs)