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Search resumes for missing IAF AN-32 aircraft

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A file photo of IAF AN-32 aircraft

NEW DELHI (BNS): Indian Air Force, Army and paramilitary forces resumed search operation Wednesday morning for missing IAF AN-32 aircraft that crashed over Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday.

Indian Air Force began aerial reconnaissance to trace the transport aircraft while Army and paramilitary forces too have been pressed into the search operation, according to IBN Live report.

There were 12 people on board, including six IAF officers, and Army personnel and all of them are feared dead.

The AN-32 plane had flown from Dibrugarh in Assam to Mechuka in Arunachal from where it took off again with the civilians for Jorhat at around 1400 hrs, after which the aircraft went missing, IAF spokesman Wing Commander P Sahu told PTI.

An aerial search operation over the dense forests and mountains of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Bhutan where the plane might have crashed was carried out but neither the wreckage nor bodies could be located, Sahu said.

The last radio contact with the missing aircraft was 35 miles from Machuka. Top-level sources in IAF say flying crew of AN-32 was highly experienced and bad weather is suspected to be reason for the crash.

The AN-32 is known as the “Sutlej” in the IAF. The Russian made aircraft  was acquired for the Indian Air Force in the 1980s and is widely considered a 'safe' aircraft. The last crash involving an AN-32 was at Delhi in 1999.

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