Search for missing AN-32 continues

CM urges locals to assist in search

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Jun 6: The missing AN-32 plane of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is yet to be traced as the search for it entered the fourth day on Thursday.
The plane had gone missing on 3 June while on its way to Mechuka from Jorhat in Assam.
The IAF tweeted on Thursday evening that the search operations being carried by IAF and Indian Army helicopters was adversely affected by weather condition.
The area of search has been expanded and smaller and more manoeuvrable helicopters have been included in the rescue mission, so as to approach areas inaccessible by bigger helicopters or individuals on foot, the IAF stated.
All leads from airborne sensors, including of the Indian Navy, are being closely assessed and followed up with search by aircraft and ground teams.
According to reports, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has met with the families of those who were on board the aircraft, in Delhi.
The crash site is estimated to be in an area of about 2500 sq kms between Kaying and Payum circles of Siang district.
The state police are verifying the claim of three people from Tumbin village that they saw thick black smoke emanating from a mountain at an aerial distance of about seven to eight kms towards Molo village, according to a press statement from the chief minister’s office .
On Friday, a search party from Shi Yomi district, along with army personnel, will join the three search parties already on the job.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has asked the administrations of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi Yomi districts to intensify the search operation.
The deputy commissioners of Siang and West Siang apprised Khandu of the steps initiated by them to trace the missing aircraft, and said they are working in coordination with each other.
Three search teams have already left for the mountains near Tumbin and Molo villages and for the Sibir-Virgong mountain range, which falls under the two villages. All these mountains fall under the Payum administrative circle, along the line of the missing aircraft’s route.
The Bayor Adi team from near Tumbin trekked to the mountains on Wednesday, but returned without result.
The CM has also urged the villagers of the adjoining areas along the probable route of the aircraft to provide any information to the nearest administrative headquarters or police outpost. He also appealed to them to join the search operation.