The Indian Air Force on Thursday said an eight-member team of rescuers did not find survivors at the site in Arunachal Pradesh where its AN-32 transporter aircraft, carrying 13 people, crashed on June 3.
“IAF pays tribute to the brave air-warriors who lost their life during the AN-32 crash on June 3, and stands by with the families of the victims,” the Air Force tweeted. “May their soul rest in peace.” According to ANI, the families of the 13 people who were on board the plane have been informed that there are no survivors.
Those who died in the crash were identified as Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants LR Thapa, MK Garg, Ashish Tanwar, Sumit Mohanty, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, Leading Aircraft Men SK Singh, and Pankaj. Two non-combatants, identified as Rajesh Kumar and Putali, were also on the plane.
Later in the day, ANI reported that the bodies of all 13 personnel had been retrieved, and the aircraft’s black box found. The black box is an electronic flight recorder placed inside the aircraft.
The aircraft went missing 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam. It was travelling to Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, near the China border. An Air Force team found the wreckage of the missing aircraft on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet in the Payum region of Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district.
Rescue personnel had attempted to reach the crash site on Wednesday but could not overcome the difficult terrain and inclement weather. “They are yet to reach the crash site due to inclement weather and terrain,” an Indian Air Force spokesperson had said. “Team will be camping overnight due to difficult terrain and weather, and will close in to the crash site tomorrow.”