The Indian Air Force (IAF) has airdropped 8-10 personnel successfully near the crash site in Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh where the wreckage of the missing IAF An-32 was spotted.
Almost a week after an intense search-and-rescue operation in Arunachal Pradesh, the wreckage of the missing IAF An-32 aircraft was spotted in Payum Circle of Siang district. Here are the first visuals of the crash site, which shows debris from the aircraft scattered around the place and charred trees supposedly due to a big fire following the crash.
Watch the video here:
The wreckage of the Russian-origin aircraft has been spotted, but the real challenge for the rescuers now will be to reach the site amid poor weather conditions. Taking to Twitter, the IAF confirmed the development, saying, "The wreckage of the missing An-32 was spotted on Tuesday (June 11) 16 kms North of Lipo, northeast Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 feet by the IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone."
"After identification of the wreckage of An 32 by Mi-17V5, the Cheetah of the IAF and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) of the Indian Army reached the crash site. Due to high elevation and dense forest, helicopters could not land next to the crash site. However, the nearest landing site was identified and the rescue operation by helicopters will commence Wednesday early morning. Ground forces will continue to reach the crash site during the night," tweeted IAF's official handle.
The wreckage of the An-32 aircraft with 13 people on board was located by a Mi-17 chopper in Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft, carrying eight crew members and five passengers, took off from Jorhat in Assam at 12.25 pm on June 3 for the Mechuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The plane's last contact with ground agencies was at around 1.00 pm on the same day.
A senior official of the district where the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted said, "It is likely to take some time for the ground parties to reach the crash site. The area has thick vegetation and the tough terrain often prevents the ground search party from advancing."
However, as of now, nothing is clear about the fate of the 13 on board the aircraft.