NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An AN-32 Indian military transport of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 13 people on board is missing after it departed on Monday from Jorhat at 12:25 pm local time for the Mechuka Advance Landing Ground, an IAF official said.
Eight members of the crew and five passengers were on board the aircraft, the Indian Air Force said adding that all available resources have been employed to identify the location of the missing plane.
The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 13:00pm. No contact with the plane has been established since then.
“Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated,” according to the IAF official.
Mechuka is situated along the India-China border. It was an important strategic location during the 1962 Indo-China War.
In July 2016, Indian Air Force An-32 transport aircraft disappeared over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people onboard. The plane had taken off from an airbase in Chennai and was headed to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Radar contact with the plane was lost around an hour after the An-32 took off from the Tambaram Air Force Station, Chennai.
Following the disappearance, the Indian Air Force launched what later became India’s largest search operation for a missing plane over the sea. However, the aircraft was never found and search operations were called off on September 2016.
The plane was presumed to have crashed and all the people onboard were presumed dead.
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