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Arunachal: IAF retrieves all members mountaineering rescue team from AN-32 crash site

The rescue team comprising of eight IAF, four Indian Army and three civilians that were stranded on the mountain top of AN-32 crash site.


Itanagar/Shillong 

The rescue team which was camping at the crash site of of ill-fated AN-32 aircraft  since June 12 in Arunachal Pradesh, was airlifted by IAF choppers from the site on Saturday.

“The rescue team comprising of eight IAF, four Indian Army and three civilians that were stranded on the mountain top of AN-32 crash site experiencing nightmares of their lives, spending 17days at an altitude of 12800 ft  have finally been safely airlifted today in good health,’’ a State government official said.

The IAF team was led by Wing Commander Namit Rawat at Camp site, West Siang District Information and Public Relation Officer (DIPRO), Gijum Tali said in an statement on Saturday.

“Today, on bright sunny days, the operation led by Air Marshall Sandeep Singh, SASO Eastern Command wasted no time to lift men and materials from the stranded site to give an end to the speculation doing the round for almost a month,’’ he added.

The official said  the rescue team and Air Force on duty landed at Aalo helipad.

Meanwhile, the IAF in an statement said the rescue team was retrieved around 1715 hrs by choppers to Aalo.

The effort to retrieve them was delayed due to inclement weather and rain , which improved slightly today in the evening , allowing the risky helicopter operations to be undertaken, it said.

“All members are fit and in good health . IAF is thankful to the Indian Army, Arunachal Pradesh State administration , the Police and local civilians for their unflinching support in this search and rescue mission,”  the IAF said.

It may be mentioned that the team had retrieved the remains of the 13 air warriors who were on-board the ill-fated aircraft recovered from the crash site on June 20. The wreckage  of the ill-fated aircraft was located near Gatte village under Payum Circle in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh after extensive search operations on June 11.

The IAF had announced that no survivors found from the crashed AN-32 aircraft, two days after the wreckage was located.

On June 3, the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft took off from Jorhat airbase for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG)  in Arunachal Pradesh.

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