Nine days after the wreckage of the crashed An-32 aircraft was found in Arunachal Pradesh, rescue teams of the Indian Air Force (IAF) recovered six bodies and the remains of seven others from the site of the crash on Thursday, defence spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said in Shillong.
According to CNN-News18, the bodies will be brought to Delhi on Thursday. The team of 20 mountaineers, who were engaged in the search operation, have also been called back from the crash site.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) June 20, 2019
The IAF rescue teams had suspended their search operation on Tuesday due to bad weather, even as a team of Garud commandos, civilian porters and hunters was on its way to the site on foot.
"Due to bad, cloudy weather, we could not undertake the retrieval operation today, as well. Our helicopters were on the lookout for a window to fly out but could not. But we are leaving no stone unturned in our attempts to retrieve the bodies," Singh was quoted by News18 as saying.
A joint team of civil personnel as well as army, air force and navy officers were part of the rescue operations.
The An-32, a Russian-made aircraft, went missing on 3 June, around 30 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh. After eight days of search operations, the plane's wreckage spotted by an Mi-17 chopper, 16 kilometres north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh at an elevation of 12,000 feet near Gatte village, on the border of the districts of Siang and Shi-Yomi.
The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the accident, calling it one of the worst accidents involving a military aircraft in recent years, The Indian Express reported.
Those killed in the crash were identified as Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenant MK Garg, Flight Lieutenant S Mohanty, Flight Lieutenant A Tanwar, Flight Lieutenant R Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar, Corporal Sherin, Leading Aircraftman SK Singh and Leading Aircraftman Pankaj.
The aircraft's cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder — commonly known as the black box — were recovered last week. Defence sources had said that the black box recovered on 9 June had suffered damage, which would delay the investigation into the actual cause of the crash.
Updated Date: Jun 20, 2019 13:18:10 IST