Snowfall hampers search for MiGOctober 23rd, 2011 - 2:17 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, Oct 23 (IANS) Snowfall in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley Sunday again hampered the search for an Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-29 jet that crashed five days ago. The pilot’s fate is still not known.
“Both ground and aerial combing couldn’t start as the higher hills have been experiencing moderate snow,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Khajana Ram told IANS over telephone.
He said the weather had suddenly turned harsh with strong icy winds in the region, hampering the recce of helicopters.
“Trudging the vertical peaks having deep gorges when it is snowing is really challenging. The search operation has been halted,” Ram added.
The area witnessed snowfall for the fourth consecutive day.
The IAF Saturday said it had identified the hills above Chokhang village where the MiG crashed.
“Now, it will take double the effort to locate the main wreckage because the search parties have to first dig through the snow and then recover the parts of the jet,” an IAF official said.
The villagers of Chokhang, located on the Keylong-Udaipur highway and 40 km from Keylong town, had reported after the crash Tuesday night that they saw a fireball in the sky and heard a loud boom.
The pilot, who had taken off from Adampur near Jalandhar in Punjab, was on night flying training mission.
The entire mountain range in the valley is treacherous and the rock cliffs are quite steep and the gorges narrow.
–Indo-Asian News Stories
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Tags: asian news, deep gorges, deputy superintendent, fireball, helicopters, himachal pradesh, iaf, indian air force, jalandhar, khajana, loud boom, mig 29, moderate snow, recce, rock cliffs, search operation, search parties, skb, snowfall, wreckage