Arunachal:  Air Force An-32 transport plane goes missing near China border

13 people were onboard the plane, including eight crew members and five passengers.


Guwahati/ Jorhat/ New Delhi

An Indian Air Force transport aircraft AN-32  that took off today from Assam’s Jorhat with eight crew members and five passengers on board has gone missing near China border in Arunachal Pradesh.

The last contact with the aircraft — an Antonov An-32 military transport aircraft — was at around 1pm today.  The plane lost contact around 35 minutes after taking off.

13 people were onboard the plane, including eight crew members and five passengers.  Troops in the ground too have fanned out to hunt for the missing An-32.

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Vice chief of IAF about the incident.

The Antonov An-32 had taken off from Jorhat in Assam and was heading to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground, located in Mechuka Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.  The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border.

The Air Force has launched a search operation and spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel P Khongsai said every effort was being made to locate the missing plane.

The An-32 is a Soviet-designed twin engine turboprop transport aircraft used extensively by the Indian Air Force for over four decades. Since it joined the IAF fleet, the planes have undergone several rounds of upgrades.

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