Guwahati: An AN-32 aircraft flying from Jorhat in Assam to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district with 13 people on board went missing on Monday afternoon.
The incident bears a striking resemblance to a similar episode of 2009.
The IAF aircraft with eight crew members and five passengers on board took off from Assam at 12.27 in the afternoon and made the last contact with ground station around 1 pm. Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft.
Likewise, on June 9, 2009, another AN-32 aircraft with the same number of people — 13 — on board went missing. The only difference then was that the aircraft was on its way to Jorhat in Assam from Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, and not the other way round, as was the case on Monday.
During that incident, IAF sources said that the Russian-built AN-32, a reliable workhorse, took off at 2 pm from Mechuka but lost radio contact soon. Similarly, the aircraft which went missing on Monday took off from Jorhat around 12.25 in the afternoon, and last contacted ground agencies around 1 pm.
Following a massive search operation, the wreckage of the 2009 aircraft was found 25 km from the landing location, and all 13 on board were found killed in the crash.