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15 rescuers air dropped near AN-32 crash site
Staff Reporter

Members of a rescue team preparing for overnight stay on their way to the AN-32 crash site, near North Lipo on Wednesday. – PTI
 GUWAHATI, June 12 - Fifteen rescue workers were today air dropped near the site in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh where the IAF’s AN 32 transport aircraft crashed while it was on an air maintenance sortie from Jorhat to Mechuka on June 3.

“After having spotted the crash site during an aerial recee yesterday, a team comprising personnel from IAF, Army and civil mountaineers have been airlifted to a location close to the crash site along with all necessary equipments,” defence sources said.

The search team includes nine from IAF mountaineering team, four from Indian Army and two civilian mountaineers.

Defence spokesman Lt Col P Khongsai said as the weather was not suitable and the terrain difficult, the Mi-17 and Advanced Light Helicopters could not go close to the crash site.

The team will be camping overnight due to difficult terrain and weather, and will close in on the crash site tomorrow.

“It might take three to four hours for the mountaineers to reach the crash site,” the spokesman said.

The wreckage of the AN 32 which had 13 people on board, including eight crew and five passengers, was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter yesterday around 16 km north of Lipo, after eight days of extensive search.

Meanwhile, Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Air Command Air Marshal RD Mathur today complimented the search team for their relentless effort spanning eight days.

He also thanked the state administration which, under the personal supervision of Chief Minister Pema Khandu extended unflinching support to the IAF towards locating the missing AN-32. The people of Arunachal Pradesh have also worked tirelessly to help the IAF for the cause, the Air Marshal said in a statement.

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