Search operations for missing Indian air force aircraft enters day four

An Indian air force AN-32 aircraft takes off (file photo) ( REUTERS )
An Indian air force AN-32 aircraft takes off (file photo) ( REUTERS ) (Photo Source: Independent UK)

The search for the missing Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft AN-32 on Thursday entered into fourth straight day, defence officials said.

The aircraft with eight crew members and five passengers on board went missing on Monday after taking off from Jorhat airfield in north-eastern state of Assam.

“Extensive search operation to trace the missing aircraft resumed this morning,” a defence official said.

“The search (has been ongoing) since Monday and we are involving all the modern technology to locate the aircraft.

“All leads from airborne sensors are being closely assessed and followed-up with search by aircraft and ground teams,’’ the official said.

On Wednesday, Indian Air Force officials said search operation was adversely affected by the bad weather conditions prevailing in the area.

According to IAF officials, search operations have been intensified despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain and poor weather.

Officials said the aircraft AN-32 vanished mid-flight minutes after taking off.

A defence ministry spokesperson said IAF commenced extensive search and rescue operations and pressed in C-130, AN-32, Mi-17 and ALH (Indian Army) helicopters into service.

In July 2016, an IAF aircraft AN-32 with 29 officials on board went missing over Bay of Bengal after its taking off from southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

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The aircraft destined to Port Blair city, the capital of archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar lost communication and vanished mysteriously.

The Indian military’s Antonov AN-32 is a Soviet-era twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft.

Experts said there is possibility that the plane might have crashed in some remote part and chances of survival for the missing persons were minimal.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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