The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday said helicopter sorties are planned on Thursday morning to transfer the remains of Arunachal Pradesh chief Dorjee Khandu and others killed in the chopper crash near Sela Pass.
"Cheetah helicopter sorties are planned in the morning at 5am to transfer the mortal remains from Luguthang helipad either to Tawang or Itanagar as per the requirement of the Arunachal Pradesh government," Ranjeeb Sahoo, IAF spokesman at the Eastern Air Command headquarters in Shillong, said.
He said the ground forces were on the move to reach the crash site and would transfer the victims to the nearest helipad Luguthang, which is around 2-3 km southwest of the crash site.
Earlier in the day, Sahoo said a Sukhoi-30 was airborne from Tezpur for radio relay of minute-to-minute communication from the MI-17 helicopter to the operations centre.
"The coordinates of the crash site were conveyed to the operation room, which in turn was forwarded to different agencies for reaching the crash site," he said.
"Dropping of retrieval equipments for the ground party by helicopter could not be carried out in the late afternoon due to fading light and deteriorating weather," Sahoo said.
The Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter carrying the chief minister and four others, including two pilots, went missing after it took off from Tawang at 9.50am on Saturday.
The last radio contact with the ground was about 20 minutes after the chopper took off as it flew over the Sela Pass along the Chinese border.