Indian Air Force continued its efforts to bring back the mortal remains of the 13 air warriors who lost their lives in the ill-fated AN-32, which crashed in the mountainous area of Arunachal Pradesh over 10 days ago.
"IAF mountaineers, Army Special Forces personnel and local mountaineers were dropped off at the closest possible location to the crash site and have reached the crash site," a defence ministry release said.
The mortal remains and other material evidence have to be picked up by helicopters and brought back to Jorhat in stages.
The weather continues to be marginal and is likely to affect the pace of recovery operations. The recovery team is braving the treacherous terrain and inclement weather in order to bring back the mortal remains as soon as possible.
The IAF has flown around 200 sorties towards the AN-32 search and recovery operations and is sparing no efforts in recovering the remains of its personnel for which 08 helicopters have been deployed, the defence ministry statement said.
IAF said that the next of kin of all personnel on board had been informed about the crash and the subsequent search operations undertaken by the IAF. Concerned family members have been apprised of the progress of the recovery operations as well and IAF officials are in regular touch with them.
The IAF and all its personnel stand with the families in this hour of grief, Air Force said.The AN-32 transport aircraft of the Air Force went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam's Jorhat. The aircraft was headed for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1300 hours.
After a massive search and rescue operation for eight days, during which assets from several agencies were deployed, the wreckage of the aircraft was located by a Mi-17 chopper.The wreckage was located 16 km north of Lipo at an elevation of 12,000 feet. The picture emerging from the crash site suggested that the plane was trying to cross over the mountain top but could not do so due to blockage of views by clouds.
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