Indian air force plane goes missing near China border

  04 June 2019    Read: 1229
Indian air force plane goes missing near China border

An Indian air force plane with 13 people on board has disappeared along the country’s mountainous border with China, government officials have said.

“A total of eight crew and five passengers were on board,” a government source said.

“Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated.”

The AN-32 aircraft is typically used for transporting military personnel. 

It lost contact with agencies on the ground at around 1pm on Monday.

The air force is leading a search operation for the plane. 

The aircraft took off from a military landing strip in the eastern state of Assam at around 12;25pm and was travelling to neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.

Sukhoi-30 combat planes and C-130 Special Ops aircraft have been deployed in the search, according to The Hindustan Times.

“I pray for the safety of all passengers on board,” Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister, said on Twitter.

“Some reports of possible location of crash site were received, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far,” the Indian air force said on Twitter.

The search operation is set to continue throughout the night, a spokesperson added.

The Indian air force is working with the country’s army to locate the craft.

“The aircraft may have got entangled in low clouds. Flying in these areas is fraught with a measure of uncertainty,” Prashant Dikshit, a retired air commodore, told NDTV.

Another AN-32 aircraft vanished in 2016, while travelling from Chennai to the Andoman and Nicobar islands.

It disappeared, with 29 passengers on board, while flying over the Bay of Bengal.

The aircraft was never found.

 

The Independent


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