Indian Air Force plane missing, presumed crashed in Arunachal

June 10th, 2009 - 12:24 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Indian Airforce AN-32 aircraft The Indian Air Force is conducting an aerial search for an Antonov AN-32 military transport plane with at least 14 people on board which went missing on a flight from Mechuka to Jorhat.

According to reports, the AN-32 aircraft with eight Indian Air Force personnel and six civilians on board departed Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh at around 2pm and went missing shortly after.

Indian Air Force Wing Commander P Sahu said the plane had flown from Dibrugarh in Assam to Mechuka on a regular flight and then went missing shortly after departure.

Wing Commander Sahu said a search was being conducted over the dense forests and mountains of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Bhutan where the plane might have crashed, but no sign of the aircraft has been detected so far.

He said the search will resume on Wednesday morning and army and paramilitary personnel in the area have been put on alert.

The An-32 is a twin-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that first flew in 1976. There are more than 240 AN-32s in military service around the world – the majority in India. In 200 the cost of a new AN-32 was between $US6 to $US9 million.

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