AN-32 crash: Bodies of all 13 IAF personnel, black box retrievedANI | New Delhi | Updated: 13-06-2019 19:41 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 19:36 IST
Bodies of all the 13 IAF personnel on board the ill-fated AN-32 transport plane and its black box were on Thursday retrieved from the crash site in Arunachal Pradesh, a day after Air Force helicopters spotted the wreckage. A 15-member rescue team reached the crash site today morning. "The IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors from the crash of AN-32," the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
IAF officials said the team of mountaineers and Special Forces managed to recover the bodies of the 13 personnel from the densely forested mountainside where the plane went down. The black box of the aircraft, which includes the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, has also been retrieved. An analysis of the black box data will allow the Air Force to establish the cause behind the crash, officials said.
A senior Air Marshal from the Eastern Air Command is monitoring the operations from the base camp. "Helicopters would be used to ferry the bodies from the area," the officials said. The 13 IAF personnel have been identified as Wing Commander GM Charles, Sqn Ldr H Vinod, Flt Lt R Thapa, Flt Lt A Tanwar, Flt Lt S Mohanty, Flt Lt MK Garg, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, LAC SK Singh, LAC Pankaj, NC(E) Putali and NC(E) Rajesh Kumar. The aircraft went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam's Jorhat. It was headed towards Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1300 hours.
The pictures for the crash site and the impact point of the AN-32 suggest that the aircraft had probably tried to clear a mountain top but failed to do so and crashed into it due to heavy cloud cover there. The aircraft was found 15-20 kilometres north of its designated flight path. Despite a massive search operation, the plane could not be located for eight days due to bad weather and dense forest cover in the area.