IAF expands search for missing AN-32

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New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) The Indian Air Force on Thursday intensified and expanded search to locate the AN-32 plane, which went missing on Monday with 13 people aboard.

According to an official statement, four Mi-17, three Advanced Light Helicopters (two of Army and one from IAF), two SU-30 MKI, one C130 and one Army UAV, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human and sensor inputs.

Moreover, two Cheetah helicopters were reaching and will add to the Search and rescue operation on Friday.

The Indian Navy’s Long Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I will again fly a sortie on Friday morning as the weather is likely to improve slightly.

Search parties have set out on foot in likely directions to locate the aircraft and its occupants.

These parties have been encountering thick forests as they tirelessly search every part of a very difficult terrain.

The search by parties on foot will continue through the night and satellites data is being analysed regularly.

IAF has flown more than 100 hours in search operations, the statement added.

The aircraft went missing in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday after taking off from Assam.

The transport aircraft was flying from Jorhat to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Mechuka is a small town in Aruanchal bordering China.

–IANS

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