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IAF AN-32 Aircraft with 13 people on board goes missing from Arunachal Pradesh, search operation on

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 03 June 2019, 06:00 PM

The Indian Air Force (IAF)'s AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 people onboard has lost contact with ground agencies, and is reportedly gone missing from the Menchuka air field of Arunachal Pradesh on Monday. As per the latest report, the aircraft had last contacted ground sources at 01:00 pm in the afternoon after it took off from Jorhat airbase in Assam around 12:25 pm. Since then, there has been no contact between the aircraft and agencies.

"IAF AN-32 Aircraft overdue for more than two hours in Menchuka air field of Arunachal Pradesh with 13 persons on board. The aircraft last contacted ground sources at 1 PM today after taking off from Jorhat airbase at 12:25 pm," the news agency ANI reported.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated an 'overdue action' as the aircraft did not reach the airfield on time. The IAF's Sukhoi-30 combat and C-130 special operation aircraft have been deployed for the same. Overdue action is the IAF nomenclature to locate a 'missing plane'.

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Following the disappearance, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to IAF Vice Chief and Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria and prayed for the safety of all passengers on board.

Taking to Twitter Singh wrote, "Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria regarding the missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours. He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board".

Of the 13 passengers onboard, eight were crew while the remaining five were passengers. Apart from the special operation aircrafts, all other available resources have been employed to locate the aircraft.

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In a similar incident, the Antonov An-32, had in July 2016, disappeared over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people onboard. At that time, the aircraft was out of the radar contact for about one hour after it took off from the Tambaram Air Force Station, Chennai. It was on its way to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Though the IAF had launched India's largest search operation to locate the missing AN-32, the aircraft was never found and presumed to have crashed will all the people onboard. The search operations were called off on September 2016.

First Published: Monday, June 03, 2019 03:32 PM
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