An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people onboard has gone missing after taking off from Jorhat in Assam.
The aircraft was headed to Mechuka Advance Landing Ground, the landing strip in the eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district. The landing strip is about 30-odd km from the nearest point on the India-China border.
The transport aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12.25 pm.
It was in contact with ground agencies for the next 35 minutes. An Indian Air Force official said there had been no contact after 1 pm.
“Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated by IAF,” the official said, adding that all available resources had been deployed to locate the aircraft.
A total of eight crew and five passengers are onboard the aircraft.
News agency ANI said Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Ops aircraft had also been deployed on a search mission to locate the IAF aircraft.
The AN-32s joined the IAF in 1983 and continue to remain in service. The air force has a fleet of more than 100 AN-32s.
Monday’s missing aircraft revived memories of the AN-32 that went missing while flying from Chennai to Port Blair in July 2016.