NEW DELHI: An Indian air force aircraft with 13 people on board went missing on Monday in remote northeastern mountains bordering China, government officials said.
The AN-32 aircraft, which is typically used for transport, took off from Assam state’s Jorhat town for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh state but lost contact with ground agencies at around 1pm.
“Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated,” said one government official.
“A total of eight crew and five passengers were on board.” The air force had begun a search, including deploying a Sukhoi combat jet, another government official said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who assumed charge of the ministry last week, said he was in touch with senior air force officials. “I pray for the safety of all passengers on board,” he said on Twitter. Arunachal Pradesh administrator Swatika Sachan said the plane last had contact with the ground at 1pm.
The identities of the eight crew members and other passengers were not immediately known. A search operation comprising two air force planes and Indian army soldiers was underway.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2019