India finds wreckage of plane missing with 13 on board

NEW DELHI, June 11 — Indian authorities today spotted the wreckage of a plane missing with 13 air force personnel aboard after days of searching a remote mountainous region close to China.

The Soviet-built AN-32 plane, carrying eight crew and five passengers, disappeared from radar on June 3 in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, prompting a frantic search by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and ground teams.

“The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today... at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft by the #IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone,” the IAF said on Twitter.

“Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants & establish survivors.”

Desperate authorities last week announced a cash reward of 550,000 rupees (RM32,966) for any information about the plane. 

They also urged village chiefs to organise search parties to scour the Mechuka jungle in the mountainous region. 

The twin-engine plane lost contact with ground control 35 minutes after taking off.

In 2016, another AN-32 — flying from Chennai to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands—went missing above the Bay of Bengal. It had 29 people aboard and was never found. — AFP

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