One group returns but empty-handed; Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu tells DCs of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi Yomi districts to intensify search operation
Itanagar: CM Pema Khandu has called all the district administrations of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi-Yomi to intensify the search operation for the AN-32 aircraft that went missing from Arunachal Pradesh on Monday afternoon.
The DCs of these districts are in close coordination with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and are helping them out with all possible means, a statement released by the Arunachal chief minister's office (CMO) said.
Deputy commissioners of Siang and West Siang apprised Khandu about the steps initiated by them to trace the missing aircraft and said that they are working in close coordination with each other.
"They arranged three teams consisting of 3/4 locals each to trace out the the missing aircraft and the people on board," the statement said.
The teams are for:
1. Bayor Adi mountain range (in front of Tumbin village)
2. Pari Adi mountain range (in front of Molo village)
3. Sibir-Virgong mountain range (between Molo and Tumbin villages).
All these ranges fall under the Payum administrative circle and are in the line of aircraft route. "Necessary logistical support have provided to them. Bayor Adi team tracked yesterday but returned without result," the statement said.
Meanwhile, a joint effort by civil police, army and Air Force is in force to search the crash location in a area of about 2,500 sq km falling under Kaying and Payum circles of Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
"But till now, no exact location has been found. Today, three persons of Tumbin village stated that on the day of incident and the time when they were doing field work saw a thick black smoke which was originating from a different mountain with an a aerial distance of about 7/8 km towards the Molo village. This fact is also being verified," the CMO said.
In addition to three search parties, one party from Shi-Yomi district and one of Army are also climbing to possible locations to look for the aircraft, the DGP informed the CMO.
Meanwhile, Khandu has asked the concerned DCs to intensify the search operation and also appealed the villagers of the adjoining areas falling in the probable route of the aircraft to provide any sort of information to the nearest administrative headquarter or police outpost.
He also appealed them to join in the search operation so that the missing aircraft and the crew and passengers on board could be traced out at the earliest.
Soon after the news of the missing AN-32 aircraft came up, Khandu had tweeted “Praying for safety of all 13 persons who were on board on Indian Air Force AN 32 plane which took off from Jorhat station for Mechuka ALG at around 1 PM and is reportedly missing. Our all out support to the IAF that have launched its search operation."