Guwahati, June 3, 2019
An Indian Air Force aircraft has been reported missing after it took off from the Jorhat airbase in Assam on the afternoon of June 3rd, 2019.
As per information available, the AN-32 aircraft – an Antonov An-32 military transport aircraft – took off from Jorhat at around 12:25 with 13 people on board.
The aircraft was scheduled to land in Arunachal Pradesh’s Mechuka airfield, also known as the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG). After the AN-32 did not reach Mechuka, the IAF has initiated the “overdue action”.
The IAF has initiated action after the AN-32 did not reach Mechuka Advance Landing Ground. A total of eight crew and five passengers are onboard the aircraft. It is reported that the aircraft last contacted ground operations at 1 pm. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter and expressed concern over the incident.
Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria regarding the missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours.
He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 3, 2019
According to the IAF, a Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Ops aircraft have been deployed to locate the AN-32 aircraft.
Mechuka is a small town nestled 6,000 feet above sea level in the Mechuka Valley in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh and is only 29 kilometres away from Indo-China border. The Indian Air Force airstrip is used frequently to bring in vital supplies from cities in Assam via Antonov-32 aircraft and helicopters.
More details awaited.