11th Jun 2019 11:06:PM State
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

ITANAGAR, Jun 11: The wreckage of the ill-fated AN-32 that went missing on June 3 last has been located through aerial search near Gatte in Payum Circle at a height of 11500 ft today after eight days. The aircraft had 13 people on board and the IAF said efforts are on to establish the status of the occupants. Ever since the aircraft went off the radar a massive search and rescue has been launched including involving locals with sound knowledge of the terrain. 
The IAF said efforts are on to establish the status of occupants amid fears that chances of any survivor in the one of worst accidents involving a military platform in recent years may be very bleak.
"The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone," the IAF said in a statement.
"Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors," it said.
An IAF official said after identifying the wreckage of the AN 32, a Cheetah helicopter and an ALH chopper reached the crash site but could not land due to high elevation and dense forest.
"However, nearest landing site has been identified and the rescue operation by helicopters will commence tomorrow early morning. Ground forces will continue to reach the crash site during the night," he said.
Another official said the IAF will send its special commandos 'Garud' to the crash site and carry out an exercise to look for possible survivors.
Deputy Director APEDA Er. Somar Potom, who has been deputed by the West Siang District administration to be part of the Search Operation disclosed that though the wreckage site has been spotted, he along with Pilots, IAF authority have started for close and final survey.

Er. Potom is with the Search Team for the last six days to locate route and terrain of that area.

       ISRO's Cartosat and RISAT satellites were also used to take images of the area around Menchuka. 
Deputy Commissioner of Siang district Rajeev Takuk said the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted near Pari hills which is close to Gatte village under Payum circle in Arunachal Pradesh.
     "The wreckage was spotted near Pari hills, a few kilometres from Gatte village. However, the area is inaccessible as there is no road communication," Takuk told  PTI.
The Russian-origin AN-32 aircraft was going from Jorhat in Assam to Menchuka advanced landing ground near the border with China on June 3 when it lost contact with ground staff at 1 pm, within 33 minutes of taking off. 
The IAF launched a massive operation after the aircraft went missing but the search was badly hit due to poor weather conditions. With PTI Inputs

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
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