An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 13 persons on board has gone missing while on a flight from Jorhat in Assam to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The 13 persons on board include eight members of the air crew and five passengers, a press release from the IAF said.
The aircraft got airborne from Jorhat at 1227 hours today and last contacted ground agencies at around 1300 hours.
"Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft. Since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by Indian Air Force," the release said.
A C-130, an AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 helicopters of the IAF and Indian Army advanced light helicopters (ALHs) were launched to locate the missing aircraft.
"Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far. IAF is coordinating with Indian Army as well as various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft.
"The search operations from air and by ground parties of Indian Army are planned to continue through the night," the release added.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been in touch with IAF officials and is monitoring the situation.
"Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria, regarding the missing IAF An-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board," he added.
The Air Force flies sorties regularly to forward areas to carry essential items for the troops posted there.
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